END-OF-DAY REPORT: The headline index was ended the day modestly lower, as investors mulled details from the Autumn budget statement and news that the Bank of England has kept UK rates and QE on hold.
At the close of business, the FTSE100 was down 11.64 points at 6,498.33 and the FTSE250 ahead 29.75 points at 15,157.7.
US stocks were firmly lower in late morning deals, as better-than-expected jobs and growth data raised fears of an early start to QE tapering.
Approaching the close in London, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 41 points 15,849, the S&P500 fell 5 points to 1,788 and the Nasdaq Composite shed 5 points at 4,033.
As widely anticipated, the Bank of England and ECB both elected to keep their respective interest rates on hold today.
The banks were largely negative today, with Barclays down 0.45p to 262.35p, RBS off 0.2p at 330.9p and Asia-facing bank Standard Chartered, continuing to suffer after yesterday's profit warning, with slipping a further 14p to 1,324.5p. Lloyds made modest gains, up 0.43p at 77.19p.
A lacklustre session for the mining sector saw Rio Tinto adding 6p at 3,268.5p and Vedanta Resources ahead 2p at 848p.
Reports of consumer reluctance to spend kept the retailers on the back foot. Tesco lost 6.85p at 333.15p as the City panned its results, Morrisons fell 2.9p to 257.8p and Sainsbury was 3.1p lower at 389.9p.
Babcock International slumped 20p to 1,268p on concerns the helicopter crash in Glasgow will scupper its plans to move in on helicopter firm Avincis
Low-cost airline easyJet climbed 2p to 1,409p after reporting it carried 4,255,978 passengers in November, 3.4% up on last year. The load factor was 89%, down from 89.6% a year ago.
Whitbread responded positively to Nomura raising its target price for the leisure group to 3,860p from 3,110p; the shares gaining 28p to 3,546p.
AMEC advanced 3p to 1,099p after Canaccord Genuity upgraded the energy industry service group to buy from hold.