The FTSE 100 share index fell 32.9 points to 6,050.7 on Thursday (down 0.5 per cent).

Banks had mixed fortunes, with Barclays, HBOS and Royal Bank of Scotland falling 0.1-2.2 per cent each. HSBC however rose 0.7 per cent, while Lloyds TSB and Standard Chartered grew 1.3 per cent each.

Fund company Schroders also fell 6.7 per cent.

Miners failed to perform on Thursday. Anglo American, Antofagasta, BHP Billiton, Eurasian Natural Resources, Lonmin, Rio Tinto and Xstrata were all down 2.9-7.8 per cent.

Oil companies did not fare any better with BP down 1.5 per cent, Cairn Energy down 4.5 per cent, Royal Dutch Shell down 1.9 per cent and Tullow Oil down 2.2 per cent.

Housebuilders also fell, Barratt Developments was down 11 per cent, Persimmon fell 6.4 per cent, while Taylor Wimpey dropped 5.5 per cent. Building materials company Wolseley also fell 3.6 per cent.

There were some winners however, Reckitt Benckiser rose 7.2 per cent and Vodafone was also up 2.2 per cent.

Utilities also performed well with National Grid up 2.5 per cent, Severn Trent up 2.3 per cent and United Utilities up 1.9 per cent.