The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed just 10.86 points higher, up 0.2 per cent at 6,072.47 points, having been up by more than one per cent for most of the session.
Mining and trading group Glencore epitomised volatility in the broader market.
Having risen to nearly 100p in early trade, it reversed that rise of over seven per cent, dropping nearly five per cent, and closed down 0.6 per cent at 91.02p.
Oil companies were among top gainers, with BP rising 2.5 per cent and Royal Dutch Shell up 2.4 per cent.
Among the FTSE 250 mid-cap stocks, Tullow Oil rose 9.6 per cent after the oil producer said that it retained its $3.7bn lending facility.
Supermarkets were among the biggest fallers following strong gains on Wednesday, with WM Morrison down 2.7 per cent, also trading without entitlement to its latest dividend payout.
Sainsbury’s fell 1.9 per cent after boosting the sector in the previous session with a rise of nearly 14 per cent after it said it would beat profit forecasts.
Sector peer Tesco fell 2.7 per cent after HSBC cut its target price on the stock.