The FTSE 100 Index closed 10 points higher at 5,681.6 today despite weak economic data from the US.
London’s main market had enjoyed stronger gains earlier in the session after Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos indicated progress was being made in his country’s debt negotiations.
The Footsie’s biggest risers included Admiral up 46.5p at £9.41, Tullow Oil 49p higher at £13.90 and National Grid ahead 18.5p at £6.32.
Among the big fallers were Fresnillo down 39p at £17.36, British American Tobacco off 45.5p at £29.17 and Capita down 9.5p at £6.15.
It was a mixed session for banking stocks after a woeful previous session.
Lloyds Banking Group was down 0.5p at 30.6p and Barclays slipped 1p to 212.6p, but Royal Bank of Scotland edged up 0.1p to 26.6p as investors also digested a 6% drop in Santander UK’s full-year profits.
Apple chip designer Arm Holdings was 2%, or 12p higher at 609.5p after it posted fourth quarter results ahead of market forecasts.
Satellite broadcaster BSkyB rose 24.5p to £6.90 after it said underlying profits grew 16% to a record £601million in the six months to December 31.
There was more disappointment for investors in the retail sector after a fresh profits warning from Carpetright, which topped the FTSE 250 Index fallers’ board after shares fell 67.5p to £5.50, and the boss of Dixons Retail – down 1.1p to 14.1p – said he was leaving to join Apple.
Ocado’s shares received a welcome boost, however, when the online grocer said it had reduced pre-tax losses by 80% to £2.4million in the year to November 27. Shares rose 6.9p to 87.1p.
Stuart Lamont, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen, noted Faroe Petroleum up 2.92% to 167.5p, BP gaining 2.7% to 470.85p and Stagecoach Group rising 1.96% to 238.5p
AG Barr fell 1.64% to £12.25 and Premier Oil shed 0.3% to 410.45p.