The ftse 100 Index continued to resist the 6000 barrier today after traders in New York returned from the public holiday in downbeat mood.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was barely changed last night and meant investors in London were given little reason to put new money on the table.
That left the Footsie 10.9 points lower in the first hour of business, despite another strong gain for British Gas owner Centrica.
With the energy group seen as a target for a European utility group - rather than Russia's Gazprom - shares rallied 4.75p to 313p.
It was joined at the top of the risers board by Reed Elsevier after a broker upgrade lifted the publishing business by 6.5p to 571p.
Shares in Dixons owner DSG International headed south despite a solid trading update from the Currys owner, including an 8% sales rise in the UK. The stock fell 5.75p to 204p.