With David Cameron arriving in Edinburgh to tell voters he would be “heartbroken” by a Yes vote in next week’s referendum, concerns over Scottish independence continued to grip traders.
“A lot of people are worried about it,” said MB Capital trading director Marcus Bullus, who added he was buying US stocks and gold instead of the FTSE.
“I’d be surprised if the Scottish Yes vote goes through but I’d rather stay out of the market then get caught out by a surprise result.”
The top-flight FTSE 100 index slipped by 28 points at one stage after being dragged lower by weak trading in New York and Asia, but was eventually dragged higher to end the session up 1.11 points at 6,830.11 as investors set about bargain hunting after a difficult few sessions.
IG chief market strategist Brenda Kelly said: “UK markets have recovered from their modest panic on Monday morning, but the referendum will remain the only game in town for another week to come, casting a cloud of uncertainty across UK shares.”
The biggest blue-chip riser was B&Q parent Kingfisher, which added 13.1p, or 4.3 per cent, to close at 320.3p after the group named Veronique Laury, boss of its French arm Castorama, as its next chief executive. She will replace Sir Ian Cheshire, who is to leave after seven years in charge.
Other strong gainers included Barratt Developments, up 10.3p at 377.4p after the housebuilder unveiled a doubling in profits, and Glasgow-based Weir Group, which ended the session 29p higher at 2,711p.
Car insurer Admiral was the biggest faller in the FTSE 100 after it was one of a number of companies to go ex-dividend, and shares in the firm were off 60p, or 4.6 per cent, at 1,234p.
Greene King dropped 34p to 797.5p following a “disappointing” World Cup for the brewer and pub operator.