Sterling made gains against the euro as the continental currency suffered a hangover from the weekend’s German election.
The pound was up 0.5 per cent versus the euro at about €1.135 thanks to its currency peer’s weakness in afternoon trading. In contrast, the pound was trading 0.4 per cent down versus the dollar at $1.344.
The benchmark FTSE 100 index ended the day down 9.35 points at 7,301.29.
David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “European equity markets are broadly weaker today as volatility is low. The trading ranges have been small even though it has been a busy day for political news, it just hasn’t translated into large swings in stocks.
“The FTSE 100 has just pushed the 7,300 mark – a level which was a significant support area over the summer. If the mark can’t be held, the London benchmark could head south again.”
BP climbed 5.8p to 472.4p after the oil major announced it was launching production at a gas extraction site in Oman, marking its largest project so far this year.
Unilever edged up 5p to 4,269p in the wake of news it had struck a bumper £1.9 billion deal to buy South Korean cosmetics firm Carver Korea from Bain Capital Private Equity, Goldman Sachs and the firm’s founder, strengthening its foothold in the Asian beauty market.
EasyJet shares dropped 11p to 1,180p. Air Berlin confirmed that talks with the low-cost carrier would continue until 12 October after EasyJet submitted an offer to take over some of the bankrupt airline’s fleet. Shares in Imagination Technologies, meanwhile, soared 36.5p to 165p.