The FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) was slightly down in early trading as fears of a trade war were assuaged as President Trump’s made some caveats to his import tariffs on steel and aluminium. Canada and Mexico will be exempt from the tariffs and other countries can apply for an exemption. Investors were also digesting the news that industrial output in the UK bounced back in January by 1.3% after a 1.3% fall in December.
The blue chip share index fell 0.03%, down 2 points at 7,201.63 by 10.45 GMT.
Shares in NMC Health (LON:NMC) rose 4.0% as the UAE healthcare provider extended gains as it reported a 38.2% rise in profit on Wednesday and that further acquisitions were in the pipeline for this year.
Anglo American (LON:AAL) shares gained 1.7% on an upgrade from Investec to Buy from Hold.
An upgrade from JPMorgan, from Equal Weight to Overweight, sent Severn Trent (LON:SVT) shares up by 1.2%.
Shares in Vodafone (LON:VOD) fell 0.6% as Bernstein downgraded the telecommunications giant to Market Perform from Outperform.
In the mid-caps, GVC Holdings (LON:GVC) shares rose 3.9% as it reported a 17% increase in gaming revenue and that shareholders had approved its merger with Ladbrokes Coral Group.
On the currency markets, sterling rose 0.14% against the dollar to $1.3813 and gained 0.15% against the euro to €1.1233.