The FTSE 100 was flat by the mid afternoon as markets slipped into a lull after a rapid start to the year.
After rising 6.4 per cent last week, London’s leading index has faltered this week with two consecutive sessions of losses.
By 3pm the bourse was down 0.05 per cent at 6,751 points. The FTSE 250, London’s smaller market for mid-cap companies, was showing more signs of life, down 0.4 per cent for the day.
Another jump in oil prices pushed energy stocks such as BP and Shell higher in early trading.
Shares in Just Eat Takeaway fell 4.7 per cent despite a third consecutive increase in orders.
The pound jumped to a six-week high yesterday after Bank of England’s Governor Andrew Bailey played down expectations of negative interest rates.
The FTSE 100 is currently trading slightly behind its main European rivals, although activity is also subdued on the continent.
The French CAC and Germany’s DAX were up 0.2 and 0.1 per cent respectively.
US markets crept higher overnight, with investors again seemingly content to wait for news of further economic support for coronavirus-battered businesses across the country.
It is hoped that incoming President Joe Biden will announced new stimulus packages imminently.
But across the Atlantic activity was also greatly limited, with Wall Street’s main markets just a few points higher.
The Nasdaq led the feeble charge, up 0.2 per cent on the day, while the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 were largely flat.