London's FTSE 100 was down 0.2% to 7,383.76 in afternoon trade on Wednesday as investors digested the latest data on wages and unemployment.
Budget airline EasyJet flew higher after it announced it will now let customers book long-haul flights with other carriers through its website.
Irish building materials group CRH was in the black as Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to 'equalweight' from 'underweight' and lifted the price target to 32.50 from 30.50.
"We downgraded CRH on the basis that investor hopes of an imminent infrastructure boom in US had resulted in earnings growth expectations that were too high and too rich a valuation. Now, hopes of growth in US infrastructure have clearly come down given the government's initial focus on other topics and the share price move has made the risk reward skew more attractive."
Tesco was weaker after Exane BNP Paribas cut the stock to 'underperform' from 'neutral' as it took a look at the UK food retail sector.
"For Tesco, our principal concern is the large pension deficit (c60p per share) as there's really only one certainty; it's impossible to calculate precisely. However, the deficit seems likely to be stubborn. Having seen the shares
rebound over the last two months, (c15% against the sector) we return our rating to Underperform but hold our 165p target price steady."
Heavily-weighted mining stocks retreated as base metals prices fell, with Antofagasta, Anglo American, Glencore and BHP Billiton among the decliners.
easyJet (EZJ) 1,214.00p 1.68%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 2,424.00p 1.08%
Barclays (BARC) 193.05p 0.89%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 603.50p 0.84%
CRH (CRH) 2,676.00p 0.83%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 251.70p 0.80%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,152.50p 0.80%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,194.00p 0.73%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 324.90p 0.65%
BP (BP.) 451.80p 0.65%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 984.00p -2.38%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,361.50p -2.30%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,535.00p -2.23%
Tesco (TSCO) 181.25p -2.05%
Glencore (GLEN) 365.50p -1.88%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,412.00p -1.81%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 2,858.00p -1.72%
Croda International (CRDA) 3,794.00p -1.71%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,628.50p -1.68%
Whitbread (WTB) 3,703.00p -1.54%