The FTSE 100 edged down this morning as oil engineer Amec weighed heavily on the index.
Shares in the engineer lost more than 5.5 per cent in early trading, despite it posting an 11 per cent hike in annual earnings this morning, enabling it to pledge a 20 per cent increase in its dividend.
"In a period in which one of the company’s peers, Saipem, issued a somewhat brutal profits warning, this statement should provide investors with considerable reassurance," analysts at Shore Capital said this morning.
Power systems company Rolls-Royce fell more than one per cent in early deals. This morning it reported buoyant results, with pre-tax profit for the full year 24 per cent higher.
Telecoms giant Vodafone was down one per cent, as the firm was believed to be discussing a bid for German cable operator Kabel Deutschland.
A mixed bag of companies was leading the index back up again this morning, with investment manager Aberdeen Asset Management rising 1.9 per cent. This morning it announced it had agreed to buy Artio Global Investors for $175m (£112m).
Other risers included consumer group Reckitt Benckiser, up 1.7 per cent, and miner BHP Billiton, rising 1.4 per cent.
UK banking shares mainly had a poor showing this morning. HSBC was up 0.1 per cent in early deals, Barclays fell 0.72 per cent, RBS was flat on yesterday’s close and Lloyds Banking Group fell 1.44 per cent.
In Asia, the Nikkei closed 0.5 per cent up, while in the US the Dow Jones closed down 0.26 per cent.