Strong corporate earnings figures in the US boosted markets today, but the UK’s slide back into recession left London’s leading shares index with only lacklustre gains.
The FTSE 100 Index was just 9.4 points higher at 5,718.9 with heavily weighted miners among the biggest risers.
Vedanta Resources was ahead 50p at £12.25 while Glencore was up 13.5p at 429.2p.
Chip designer Arm Holdings was ahead as better-than-expected sales of iPhones by major customer Apple helped its shares rise 1% or 6p to 537.5p.
In corporate news, shares in drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline were down by more than 3% after results for the first quarter of 2012 came in short of expectations.
While the company said the outlook for sales growth was unchanged, investors were focused on near flat growth in core operating profits. Shares fell 44p to 1,413.5p, but rival AstraZeneca was more resilient as the stock was up 3.5p to £28.41.
Elsewhere, Mr Kipling and Hovis owner Premier Foods saw its shares fall despite reporting a 3.7% rise in sales for its eight leading brands over the last quarter. Shares fell 5%, or 0.8p to 15.8p.
Sports Direct International maintained its strong sales run, with revenues up 13.2% to £267.6million in the nine weeks to March 25. Shares were 6p higher at 291p.
The biggest Footsie risers included International Consolidated Airlines Group ahead 5.6p at 174.1p, Glencore up 13.5p at 429.2p and BAE Systems ahead 9p at 300.3p.
Among the biggest Footsie fallers were Centrica down 12.3p at 310.2p, Tesco down 8.5p at 317p and Reed Elsevier off 13.5p at 512.5p.
Steven McKay, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen, noted that Premier Oil closed 2.7% higher at 378.8p, Hunting added 2.2% to 929.25p and AMEC moved 1.6% higher to finish the day at £11.25.
On the fallers board, Xcite Energy shed 1.85% to 106.125p, BP lost 1% to close at 432.3p and Petrofac fell 0.8% to £17.31.