A robust start to the interim results season failed to kickstart the London market today, with retailing and mining stocks among those on the back foot.
The FTSE 100 Index was 33.6 points lower at 6590.8 by mid-morning, led by Johnson Matthey after a trading update from the speciality chemicals firm disappointed some analysts.
Shares were off 52p at 1750p.
BP did its best to limit London’s decline after it delivered second quarter profits at the top end of market expectations. However, shares succumbed to the sell-off, with the stock 4p lower at 597.5p.
Royal Dutch Shell, which will publish results on Thursday, fell 20p to 2045p.
Yell led the Footsie risers board for a while after a first quarter update reassured the City over prospects in the United States, where the business has been squeezed by increased competition.
The Yellow Pages firm said it was confident of tackling the threat, causing shares to gain 2%, or 11.75p at 481p.
Consumer products group Reckitt Benckiser joined Yell at the top of the risers board, up 78p at 2795p, as investors bought into the firm ahead of figures from the company tomorrow.
Retailers were under pressure after Sports World owner Sports Direct International highlighted “exceptionally difficult” trading conditions.
Shares in Sports Direct fell 22%, or 41.75p to 149p, in the FTSE 250 Index.
Back in the top flight, B&Q owner Kingfisher was down 3.75p at 218.75p, Argos owner Home Retail Group fell 14.75p to 427p and Next slipped 35p to 1883p.
Among the miners, Lonmin fell 94p at 3641p and Anglo American dipped 68p to 3189p.
Elsewhere, shares in Friends Provident lost some of their strength a day after revealing talks with Resolution over a possible merger. The stock surged 8% yesterday on hopes of further bids, but the stock was today down 2%, or 4.5p at 196.5p.