FTSE 100 flat after landmark day yesterday

Following a stellar day yesterday for the FTSE 100 in which it tipped over the 6,000 mark, the leading share index was broadly flat in early deals today, although it still clung to the 6,000 level.

Financial shares were strong risers on the blue chip index, with Aberdeen Asset Management, Legal & General and Hargreaves Lansdown all topping the leader board this morning.

Right at the top was clothing retailer Next, which this morning upped its profit forecast on the back of strong Christmas sales.

Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown said: “The shares have had a very strong run in the recent past, having risen 38 per cent over the last year, as compared to a six per cent gain for the wider FTSE 100.

“This has led to a consensus which suggests that the shares are mostly up with events, the general view being that the shares are a hold, albeit a strong one.”

On the FTSE All-Share, mining stocks continued to do well, with Aquarius Platinum, Kenmare Resources and Talvivaara up 5.64 per cent, 4.33 per cent and 3.38 per cent respectively.

Hospitality firm the Compass Group was the biggest faller on the FTSE 100 this morning, sinking 1.7 per cent.

Building materials group CRH also had a tough morning, shedding 1.17 per cent, as it announced acquisitions in 2012 totalled €630m.

On the wider index, WH Smith fell 3.6 per cent, and regional newspaper publisher the Johnston Press was down more than two per cent.

UK banking shares were a mixed bag this morning. HSBC was down 0.21 per cent, Barclays was up 0.19 per cent, RBS was down 0.51 per cent and Lloyds Banking Group rose 2.5 per cent.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed 0.7 per cent up, while in the US the Dow Jones closed up 2.35 per cent.