The FTSE 100 index finished little changed as investors digested the implications of Syriza’s election victory in Greece while there was a sharp fall for spurned takeover target RSA Insurance.
The FTSE 100 Index was as much as 60 points up during the day before closing just 4.6 points above its opening mark at 6,108.71.
Focus turned to Greece as the new week began after Syriza won snap elections it had called after its U-turn on tough reforms that allowed the debt-laden country to access a new bail-out package.
The decisive result gave prime minister Alexis Tsipras a mandate to roll out the tough programme of cut backs and pension reforms though some analysts questioned his party’s commitment to them. Germany’s Dax also saw gains despite being dragged back by the woes of car making giant Volkswagen which saw its shares fall by 19 per cent after it admitted rigging US emissions tests for nearly 500,000 diesel cars and was ordered to recall them. It also faces billions of dollars in fines.
In London, RSA was the big faller after Swiss rival Zurich pulled out of a £5.6 billion takeover.
Zurich ditched plans for a bid after revealing a slump in its general insurance business and a hit from a series of explosions at a Chinese storage station last month.
RSA shares had rocketed after the board indicated it would recommend the 550p per share offer. But the collapse of the takeover sent shares 21 per cent, or 106.2p, lower to 403.3p.
Drugs firm Shire was among the FTSE 100 risers after European approval for one of its drugs and a broker upgrade for the stock from Barclays. Shares added 50p to 4,795p.
NEW YORK: Stocks advanced, following a two-day sell-off, as investors took an optimistic view on domestic growth amid reassuring comments from Federal Reserve policy makers.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 125.54 points, or 0.77 per cent, to close at 16,510.12 while the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 6.44 points, or 0.33 per cent, en ding on 1,964.47.
The Nasdaq composite fell 4.43 points, or 0.09 per cent, to 4,822.80.