After getting off to a flying start after the Japanese central bank unexpectedly opted to beef up its quantitative easing programme London's leading shares
ended the morning little changed.
The Bank of Japan (BoJ) took markets by surprise with the announcement that it will increase the size of its asset purchase fund to 55trn Yen
(£77.46bn), from 45trn before.
The action has been taken in a bid to weaken the Yen and - it is thought - in reaction to increasing political pressure to take measures, although it remains to be seen how effective they will be.
Investors bank gains on financials
Financial stocks are bearing the brunt of the profit-taking trend, which is not surprising, as they have been some of the best performers since the European Central Bank announced its decision to weigh in to the bond markets to hoover up sovereign debt.
Miners, meanwhile, have seen early gains trimmed. That includes Lonmin, which initially shot up on the news that striking workers at its Marikana operations are to return to work on Thursday after a settlement was reached late on Tuesday night. The stock is no longer the best performing FTSE 250 stock, having been supplanted by Egyptian gold miner Centamin.
Elsewhere in the FTSE 250, Imperial Leather soap maker PZ Cussons is wanted after a well-received trading update. The group said it is confident of a return to profitable growth this financial year, though conditions remain difficult in its core market of Nigeria and challenging elsewhere.
Technology company Smiths Group saw top line growth across all of its divisions last year, as revenue broke through the £3bn barrier. Revenue for the year ended July 31st rose 7%, or an underlying 5%, to £3,038m from £2,842m the year before, beating the £2,978m expected by the market. Headline profit before tax was also above market expectations, rising 7% to £554m from £517m the year before. The median forecast from the group of analysts following the stock was £451m. Statutory profit before tax dipped to £366m from £398m as a result of laundry list of exceptional items.
Commercial vehicle hire company Northgate said despite economic headwinds affecting both its UK and Spanish businesses, it continues to trade in line with company expectations.
Online fashion and beauty store ASOS continued its recent barnstorming performance, boosting revenues by a third in the last quarter. Retail sales were up 31% year-on-year, with a 15% rise in the UK and a 42% jump in international trading.
It was a different story at French Connection, where the shares took a hammering after the group reported a first half loss. The fashion group, which issued a profit warning in May, posted a pre-tax loss of £6.3m in the six-month period ended July 31st 2012 compared to a profit of £0.7m in 2011. Revenue during the period fell to £96m compared to £102.8m a year earlier.
Gilts had a good morning, heading higher even as traders pored over the minutes from the September meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England. The yield on the 10-year benchmark gilt dipped to 1.85% from 1.88% overnight.
The most active contract for Brent crude ended the morning 73 cents lighter at $111.30 a barrel.
FTSE 100 - Risers
United Utilities Group (UU.) 726.00p +2.61%
Rexam (REX) 433.60p +2.12%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 753.50p +1.55%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,800.00p +1.47%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,733.00p +1.46%
Ashmore Group (ASHM) 339.60p +1.37%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,854.00p +1.37%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 585.20p +1.26%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,031.50p +1.12%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 2,937.00p +1.12%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Aviva (AV.) 330.70p -4.12%
Barclays (BARC) 220.10p -2.35%
Evraz (EVR) 275.80p -1.32%
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,331.00p -1.31%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,095.00p -1.08%
Meggitt (MGGT) 406.90p -0.95%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 173.75p -0.94%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 134.30p -0.81%
Standard Life (SL.) 277.30p -0.79%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 153.20p -0.78%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 96.95p +6.95%
PZ Cussons (PZC) 318.00p +3.48%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 222.60p +3.39%
Talvivaara Mining Company (TALV) 175.20p +2.52%
Mondi (MNDI) 623.00p +2.47%
Lonmin (LMI) 664.50p +2.23%
Fenner (FENR) 400.60p +2.22%
NMC Health (NMC) 199.00p +2.16%
Big Yellow Group (BYG) 320.10p +2.14%
UBM (UBM) 702.00p +2.11%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Aquarius Platinum Ltd. (AQP) 48.67p -4.38%
IG Group Holdings (IGG) 448.70p -4.37%
International Personal Finance (IPF) 307.40p -3.18%
Kier Group (KIE) 1,314.00p -3.17%
Premier Farnell (PFL) 180.60p -2.38%
Bumi (BUMI) 279.60p -2.27%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 100.40p -2.05%
ITE Group (ITE) 205.80p -2.05%
Melrose (MRO) 245.00p -2.00%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 705.00p -1.88%
FTSE TechMARK - Risers
Oxford Biomedica (OXB) 2.35p +6.82%
CML Microsystems (CML) 314.00p +4.32%
FTSE TechMARK - Fallers
AEA Technology Group (AAT) 0.060p -33.33%
Filtronic (FTC) 43.00p -8.99%
Pace (PIC) 152.75p -4.08%