There were contrasting fortunes for retail giants Marks & Spencer and Tesco as their shares moved in opposite directions following closely-watched Christmas updates.
M&S shares were down more than 4% at one stage after it disclosed poor sales in clothing, but Tesco lifted 2% as its performance in the UK suggested the turnaround plans of chief executive Philip Clarke were taking shape.
The London market failed to add any significant gains to the FTSE 100 Index, which on Wednesday closed at its highest level since May 2008.
The benchmark index closed 2.9 points higher at 6101.5, after European Central Bank (ECB) chief Mario Draghi said the region was poised to start growing again. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also opened slightly higher on the news.
The pound was down against the euro at 1.21 after the ECB "unanimously" left interest rates at a record low. It was up against the US dollar at 1.61.
The session also saw interest rates and the Bank of England’s quantitative easing programme kept unchanged by policymakers, a decision that was in line with market expectations.
The biggest FTSE 100 risers were ARM Holdings up 36.5p to 863.5p, Bunzl ahead 34p to 1049p, Melrose Industries 6.6p higher at 241.1p and Wood Group up 20.5p to 794.5p.
The biggest FTSE 100 fallers were Intertek Group down 60p to 3100p, Associated British Foods off 26p to 1520p, Aviva 5.7p lower at 368p and ITV down 1.6p to 107.7p.