MILAN: The FTSE 100 ended flat on Wednesday as a weaker pound supported export-oriented shares, helping offset a fall in Just Eat on fresh competition worries and weaker energy stocks.
The index fluctuated within a tight range as investors waited for a string of central bank decisions this week, starting with the US Federal Reserve later in the day.
Just Eat fell 4.7 percent, leading fallers on the FTSE, after Deliveroo stepped up competition against its rival, saying it would allow restaurants to use their own riders for orders placed through its app.
“It’s a model used by Just Eat, and means Deliveroo’s army of mopeds is potentially set to mount a significant challenge to the FTSE 100 firm’s grip on the food delivery sector,” said Connor Campbell, analyst at Spreadex.
Domino’s Pizza was also lower, down 2.7 percent.
The energy sector had the biggest negative pull, taking 12 points off the FTSE.
Oil majors Royal Dutch Shell and BP fell 1.1 and 0.9 percent respectively but ended off their day’s low as oil prices turned higher after US government data showed a bigger weekly draw than expected on domestic crude inventories.
Heavyweight miner Glencore rose 3.7 percent after its Congo unit reach a settlement to dissolve a copper and cobalt joint venture.
Big international firms such as Diageo, BAT and Shire rose between 0.6 and 1.1 percent, extending gains as sterling fell to a one-week after data that failed to bolster chances of an interest rate increase in August.
Rate-sensitive banks were also broadly lower with Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds down 1.4 and 0.5 percent respectively.
Elsewhere, Dixons Carphone shares fell 2.8 percent after the company announced a data breach in which 1.2 million records of non-financial personal information had been accessed.
British small-cap Connect Group fell 44 percent after the logistics firm warned full-year profits and dividends would be “materially” lower than expected, and CEO Mark Cashmore stepped down.