London’s blue chip share index struggled amid further volatile trading today as markets failed to shrug off eurozone concerns.
The FTSE 100 Index bounced back from yesterday’s 2.8% plunge in early trading, but soon fell back into the red, down another 13.8 points at 5144.3.
Cheer over a debt deal for Dubai World and economic optimism from the US Federal Reserve did little to keep up investors spirits.
Germany’s Dax also declined steeply, down more than 1%, while futures trading on Wall Street suggested the Dow Jones Industrial Average was heading for a negative session.
The euro fell back as it continued to suffer in the wake of Germany’s surprise move to ban speculators from betting against the eurozone.
The single currency eased to 1.24 US dollars, although it was up against the pound, which sunk to 1.16 euros.
Gains among banks and oil stocks limited falls on the FTSE 100, although many miners remained in the red after a dire session in Wednesday’s sell-off.
Barclays was the top riser, up more than 3% or 9.7p to 299.9p, followed not far behind by part-nationalised Royal Bank of Scotland up 0.56p at 45.76p.
Firmer oil prices helped BP and Royal Dutch Shell advance, up 7.8p to 531.3p and 16p to 1776.5p respectively.
But power provider National Grid was suffering after it revealed plans to tap shareholders for £3.2 billion net of fees to step-up investment in its ageing infrastructure and network.
Shares in the energy firm sunk 8%, or 46p to 574p, despite news of a 12% rise in underlying annual profits.
Grolsch and Pilsner Urquell brewer SAB Miller joined it on the fallers board, down 126p at 1909p, after cautious comments on consumer spending overshadowed full-year results.
They were followed by a raft of mining stocks, led by Rio Tinto down 105.5p at 2879p.
Figures from a number of FTSE 250 players sparked movements in the second tier, with Mothercare down 19p at 528p – a fall of 4% – as it too lost ground on its cautious outlook.
But cash and carry firm Booker was on the rise, up 6% or 2.48p to 41.68p, after reporting a 21% rise in annual profits.
Directories firm Yell also clawed back some of its heavy falls seen yesterday after its two top bosses announced their departure.
The Yellow Pages publisher rose 8%, up 2.5p at 36.1p, as it unveiled a deal to buy local reviews website Trusted Places.