Shares edged down on Wednesday, with electrical goods retailer DSG International among the biggest losers after a muted trading update, while energy supply firm DRAX was hit by a broker downgrade.
Centrica was up 1.5 percent, boosted by persistent bid speculation.
By 8:50 a.m., the FTSE 100 index was 0.2 percent or 11.2 points weaker at 5,970.7 points, with stocks trading ex divided taking off 2.1 points off the index. The benchmark, which hit a 3 1/2 month high in the previous session, has gained 6 percent so far this year.
The market is struggling for direction, said a trader, adding that the spotlight was on mid-cap and small cap stocks.
Shares in DSG fell 3 percent after the company reported a 5 percent rise in like for like sales in the 16 weeks to August 19
It is broadly in line with expectations, said Societe Generale analyst John Baillie. They've delivered the recovery in the UK and continued strong growth in Scandinavia. The only disappointment is Italy, but it's only a small part of the group.
They just didn't say anything to excite the market, said a second trader.
Shares in retailer Woolworths Group rose 4 percent after the Financial Times said the company could be broken up under a takeover plan devised by Icelandic investor Baugur.
Standard Life and Resolution looked set to enter the FTSE 100 index later this month after a quarterly rejig. Index compiler FTSE will formally announce the changes to the FTSE UK index series after the close of markets on Wednesday.