London’s blue chip share index remained in the red on persistent fears over how President Obama will tackle America’s looming fiscal cliff.
But the FTSE 100 Index pared back earlier losses, closing down 6.4 points at 5769.7, as Wall Street’s Dow Jones Industrial Average pulled out of its two-day nosedive.
Figures revealing a better-than-expected rise in US consumer confidence helped turn the Dow Jones around, up around 0.3% in early trade, and offset fears of a drawn-out battle over the looming fiscal cliff, which will mean automatic tax increases and spending cuts from January 1.
In currency news, the pound fell to 1.25 euros after gains yesterday following the Bank of England’s decision to hold off from further economy-boosting measures under its quantitative easing programme.
Sterling was also down at $1.59 as investors looked to the greenback as a safe haven from stock market turbulence.
The biggest FTSE 100 risers were Admiral up 35p to 1054p, Croda International ahead 61p to 2271p, Tate & Lyle 17p higher at 747p and Smith & Nephew up 14p to 656.5p.
The biggest FTSE 100 fallers were Barclays down 6.5p to 230.2p, Evraz off 6p to 236.4p, G4S 5.8p lower at 253.4p and National Grid down 11p to 689p.