The FTSE 100 share index finished unchanged on Thursday, ending as it began the day at 6,087.3 points.

Mining companies did well, with Anglo American, Kazakhmys and Xstrata up 2.0-2.2 per cent.

British Airways also saw its share values rise 7.3 per cent after talk of a possible alliance with American Airlines and Continental Airlines.

Thomson Reuters Corp was up 3.3 per cent, whilst drinks can maker Rexam was also up 4.4 per cent.

Retailers however did badly with Home Retail down 2.8 per cent and Kingfisher falling 1.4 per cent.

House-builders also saw their shares fall with British Land, Hammerson, Land Securities and Liberty International down 0.8-2.6 per cent.

Medical device maker Smith & Nephew also dropped 13.0 per cent after saying it had discovered unacceptable sales practices in a newly acquired unit following an internal investigation. The company said sales and profits for 2008 would be hurt as a result.