Mixed results from Primark owner Associated British Foods (ABF) and security firm G4S (GFS) weighed on investor sentiment as the FTSE 100 traded 0.2% lower at 7,547 around midday.
Associated British Foods was down 3.8% at £32.17 as investors focused on the impact from lower EU sugar prices instead of a 15% jump in sales in the 52 weeks to 16 September.
Security firm G4S warned sales would be weaker than anticipated, causing the shares to drop 6.4% to 261.7p. According to the company, all regions experienced growth except the Middle East and India.
Brent crude oil dipped 0.3% to $64 per barrel. Gold nudged 0.2% lower to $1,276 per ounce and copper cheapened 1.1% to $3.12 per pound.
DISAPPOINTING RETAIL SALES GROWTH
In the UK, retail sales rose by a mere 0.2% in October, which is a substantial fall from 2.4% growth seen in October 2016. The British Retail Consortium said retailers should have 'cause for concern' in the run up to Christmas as people chose days out instead of hitting the shops.
According to media reports, 21st Century Fox discussed selling most of its business to Disney, causing shares in the latter to jump 2% overnight. 21st Century Fox enjoyed a bigger uplift as the stock catapulted 9.9%.
The Nasdaq closed 0.3% higher at 6,786 and the Dow Jones was flat at 23,548.
In Asia, strong results from tech colossus Apple sparked a rally in suppliers to the firm, which were listed in Asian stock markets.
Japan's Nikkei 225 was the biggest riser in the region, gaining 1.7% to 22,937 this morning.
OTHER MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
Currency movements helped cigarette maker Imperial Brands (IMB) rise 2.3% to £31.56. Operating profit increased 2.2% to £2.3bn while sales soared 9.5% to £30.2bn.
Support service firm DCC (DCC) made it first foray into the US energy market through the acquisition of Retail West's liquefied petroleum division for $200m. Its shares ticked 0.8% higher to £73.50 on the news.
Insurer Direct Line (DLG) reversed 2% to 359.8p despite being on track to meet its targets.
In the same sector, Hiscox (HSX) was broadly unmoved at £14.10 on a 12.4% rise in gross written premiums in the first nine months of the year.
SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
Investors raised a glass to tonic water seller Fevertree (FEVR) after announcing it would finish the year ahead of expectations. The stock surged 13.4% to £22.24.
UP Global Sourcing (UPGS) boosted revenues by 39.1% in the year to 31 July and reported an 18.7% increase in pre-tax profit, causing the stock to rise 5.4% to 92.7p.
Windows supplier Tyman (TYMN) said underlying full year pre-tax profits would be below market expectations due to higher input costs, resulting in a 6.7% drop in the stock to 328.2p.
Positive results at investment firm Armadale Capital's (ACP) Mahenge Liandu graphite project in Tanzania sparked a share price rally of 33.9% to 2p.
Attraction experiences developer Paragon Entertainment (PEL) plummeted 27.1% to 2.1p after warning full year earnings would be 'significantly lower than previous expectations at approximately £0.7m.'