London's leading share index almost closed back below the 5,000 point mark after giving up a short-lived rally.
Euphoria over US plans to keep interest rates at their current low levels was soon overshadowed by the reason for the plans: the grim economic outlook.
Here, the Bank of England has cut its forecast for UK economic expansion this year to 1.4% from 1.8%. Growth is likely to be sluggish in the next year or so as household incomes remain squeezed, but easing inflationary pressures should help it to pick up "gently" next year, the Bank said in its latest inflation report.
Miners, such as Kazakhstan's Kazakhmys were under heavy attack by the close of play having earlier rallied on global growth hopes. Bank Barclays also took a heavy pounding.
In company news Standard Life was among the best performers after operating profits at the savings, investments and pensions firm jumped by 44% in the first half.
Global banking giant HSBC was higher after revealing that US lender Capital One is the buyer of its card and retail services business in the US. HSBC said its post-tax gain on the sale is estimated to be $2.4bn.
FTSE 250 travel firm TUI Travel said it is on track to meet full-year expectations after operating profits surged in the group's third quarter. The package tour firm saw a 13% increase in revenue and a 57% increase in operating profit for its third quarter (to June 30) compared to 2010, when the effects of the Icelandic volcano ash cloud were disrupting travel plans across Europe.
Meanwhile, shareholders in wounded bid target Micro Focus got some good news on Wednesday as the legacy software specialist said it is trading ahead of expectations. Shares jumped by a fifth. The upbeat trading statement makes a change from profit warnings, of which there have been two this year.
Shares in internet video security company IndigoVision dropped after the company warned that it will not meet its sales and profits targets for the year ended 31 July.
Fashion retailer French Connection was in fashion after it said first half profit will be in line with management expectations as it successfully weathers tough conditions on the high street. The clothing and accessories retailer said it saw growth in like-for-like sales at its UK stores despite the difficult market conditions.
Beowulf was posting muscular gains after the Sweden-focused miner said drilling at its Kallak iron ore project indicated the presence of more than 400m tonnes of ore.
Sticking with mythically-named resource companies, Dragon Oil was on fire after it ramped up production in the six months to 30 June, helping the Central Asia-focused oil group to benefit from the soaring oil price. Profit for the period totalled $309.4m, up from $137.6m over the same period the previous year, on revenues that soared to $527.4m from $276.3m. The company is paying a 9 cent interim dividend, having not paid one last year.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Standard Life (SL.) 184.10p +5.74%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 6,385.00p +4.33%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,302.00p +3.25%
Man Group (EMG) 187.20p +3.20%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,735.00p +1.88%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 572.00p +1.24%
Autonomy Corporation (AU.) 1,502.00p +0.67%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,415.00p +0.28%
Aggreko (AGK) 1,696.00p -0.24%
SABMiller (SAB) 1,993.00p -0.35%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Essar Energy (ESSR) 262.10p -12.60%
Barclays (BARC) 163.70p -8.70%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 918.00p -7.74%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,371.50p -7.52%
Prudential (PRU) 567.00p -7.35%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 24.29p -7.33%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 516.20p -5.28%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 109.50p -5.19%
Schroders (Non-Voting) (SDRC) 1,124.00p -5.07%
Old Mutual (OML) 103.20p -5.06%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Micro Focus International Plc (MCRO) 283.70p +13.16%
Kofax (KFX) 290.00p +7.21%
Afren (AFR) 100.10p +5.70%
Telecom Plus (TEP) 580.00p +5.45%
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 537.00p +4.68%
Filtrona PLC (FLTR) 310.00p +4.45%
SVG Capital (SVI) 228.00p +4.40%
International Personal Finance (IPF) 255.70p +3.90%
Telecity Group (TCY) 501.50p +3.47%
Moneysupermarket.com Group (MONY) 103.00p +3.31%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 101.70p -9.68%
Shares in AIM-listed mineral exploration company Beowulf Mining rose after the company reported that its Kallak deposits had been designated an 'Area of National Interest' for minerals by the Swedish Geological Society. [25 Feb '13]
Beowulf, the Sweden-focused mineral exploration company, jumped 10% after it said latest assay results from its completed drill programme at its Kallak North mine were "most encouraging". The results included indications of further high grade iron mineralisation on the southerly extension of the deposit, the company said. It has also received approval from the County Administrative Board of Norrbotten for test mining at the site. [17 Oct '12]
Angel Mining, which is currently focused on building a successful mining operation in Greenland, cheered its investors with the news that as of July 31st it had sold 7,569 ounces of gold at an average price of 1,668 dollars per ounce since its first gold sale in August 2011. The firm is continuing to work towards its main project, the Black Angel zinc/lead mine, which it expects to become operational by 2014/15. The costs of this are expected to be met by gold sales. The firm [31 Aug '12]
Beowulf Mining, the Sweden-focused mineral explorer, says drilling at its Kallak North and Kallak South sites may be delayed until May this year after objections from the local Saami community. [16 Jan '12]
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