A surge on Wall Street last night failed to inspire trading across the London market this morning.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and tech-laden Nasdaq both closed well into positive territory last night, as buyers continued to gain confidence.
But chip maker Texas Instruments then knocked sentiment after the markets had closed by warning of poor sales and profits for the rest of the year.
That dampened the impact of Wall Street’s rally on the City this morning and after an hour’s trading, the FTSE 100 Index had dipped 6.5 points to 4127.3.
Supermarket chain Safeway was one of the bigger fallers, losing 6.5p at 208p, after reporting a slowdown in sales growth for the second quarter.
Other retailers heading south included J Sainsbury, off 2.75p at 275p, and electrical chain Dixons, 2.75p weaker at 187.25p.
Heavyweight oil stocks were also holding the market back, with BP down 8.5p at 443.5p and Shell off 3.5p at 424p.
But life insurer Friends Provident surged 9p to 135p after it pleased the City with its third-quarter new business figures.
And among smaller stocks, high street retailer Debenhams said sales were improving and full-year profits had met expectations.
Shares charged 41.25p to 300p, a 16% rise.