THE London market surrendered some of this week’s gains today as investors turned their attention to US debt negotiations to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.
The FTSE 100 Index fell 16.2 points to 5929.6, despite the US Federal Reserve announcement that it will make additional asset purchases.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average also opened down after Fed chairman Ben Bernanke warned monetary policy could not offset damage if politicians fail to avert a round of steep tax hikes and budget cuts.
Talks involving US president Barack Obama and house speaker John Boehner are ongoing in an effort to avoid the fiscal cliff, which will kick in on January 1.
The pound was down against the euro at 1.23 after a busy day in Europe, where politicians approved billions in bailout loans for Greece that will prevent the nation from going bankrupt.
Finance ministers agreed the debt-laden country would get a total of 49.1bn euros (£39bn) between now and March, which Greece desperately needs to stay afloat.
In corporate news, Sports Direct International shares were under pressure despite a 25% rise in half-year profits to £125.2m.
The biggest FTSE 100 risers were Tullow Oil up 34p to 1216p, United Utilities ahead 11.5p to 701p, Aviva 5.9p higher at 372.8p and Shire up 21p to 1956p.
The biggest FTSE 100 fallers were Wood Group down 35p to 733.5p, Astra Zeneca off 84p to 2958.5p, Burberry 34p lower at 1262p and Experian down 23p to 999p.