Energy stocks have received some respite after their battering yesterday in the wake of the latest slide in the price of oil.
Brent crude held firm at just over 64 US dollars a barrel, having fallen sharply on Wednesday when a monthly report by industry cartel Opec said demand next year was expected to fall to its lowest level in a decade.
The FTSE 100 Index, which opened the week at 6742, dipped below 6500 at one stage before recovering by 10.8 points to 6510.7 amid lacklustre trading.
Oil giants BP and Royal Dutch Shell put back some of their losses from yesterday with gains of 4.9p to 404.5p and 19.5p to 2118p respectively.
In corporate updates, shares in SuperGroup were down 3% after it reported a drop in profits to £12.5 million following a disappointing half-year performance.
New chief executive Euan Sutherland is reviewing every aspect of the business and said he will report his conclusions in the spring.
Shares fell 29.75p to 800.25p but rival Next added 95p to 6565p in the top flight.
Whitbread shares were 36p lower at 4533p after the owner of Premier Inn and coffee shop chain Costa said sales were 13.2% higher in the quarter to November 27 – a rise of 6% on a like-for-like basis. Shares have risen by more than 20% since the start of the year.