The FTSE 100 nosed up on Wednesday, weighed by heavyweight miners and by ex dividend stocks taking 1.4 points off the index but with Man rising.
While traders waited for the Federal Reserve's interest rate decision and for clues on monetary policy.
Miners fell after copper declined, gold hit an almost three month low, and base metals slipped. BHP Billiton fell 2 percent, Anglo 1.9 percent and Rio down 1.3 percent. Antofagasta and Xstrata , which went ex dividend, slipped 0.5 and 0.6 percent respectively, while Kazakhmys fell 0.8 percent.
Man Group was one of the main gainers, up 1 percent after it reported that the net asset value of Man AHL Diversified Futures rose 1.17 percent last week. Corus was another standout gainer, up 1.8 percent after Morgan Stanley upgraded the company to overweight.
Oil stocks were steady as U.S. light crude recovered only slightly to almost the $62 a barrel level after it fell more than 3 percent on Tuesday, taking it to the latest in a series of six months lows.
By 0720 GMT, the FTSE 100 was up 3.4 points, or 0.06 percent, to 5,835.2, ahead of the minutes released by the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee and the Fed's decision on interest rates, although no surprises were expected.
Drax Group was among the main decliners, down 0.9 percent on mixed broker comment, although JP Morgan upped the price target on the stock. Partygaming slipped 1.9 percent on negative broker comment.
Among financials, Standard Life rose 1.3 percent on a report in The Guardian that it was preparing for a management shake up which could include the exit of finance director Alison Reed. Banks were mixed. HBOS rose 0.1 percent after JP Morgan increased the price target to 1,000 pence from 960 pence.
Woolworths was steady after the British sweets to DVDs retailer posted a deepening adjusted first half loss as its same store sales slid and the CEO said it was not the right time to sin off the EUK unit but it may in the future.