London stock exchange
The London market was largely unchanged as traders looked ahead to what could be a historic rate cut by the Bank of EnglandGetty

The London market trod water in afternoon trading as investors looked ahead to what could be a historic rate cut by the Bank of England tomorrow.

The FTSE 100 Index edged up 6.6 points to 6688.7, as the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is expected to unveil new measures to boost the economy that could include interest rates being cut from 0.5% to 0.25%, or zero. Rates are already the lowest they have been in the Bank's 321-year history.

The FTSE 250 Index rose 52 points to 16859.

Trustnet Direct market analyst Tony Cross said traders were "evidently sitting on the sidelines ahead of tomorrow's MPC meeting and much-expected news of stimulus measures from Bank of England governor Mark Carney".

Burberry was the highest riser, jumping 79p to 1282p, after it revealed the weaker pound would boost annual profits by £90m ($119m, €108m) this year even though underlying trading remained "challenging".

Housebuilder Barratt Developments said it was on track to boost annual profits by 20% to around £680m, adding it was "too early" to say how the UK's Brexit vote will affect its business.

But Barratt's shares slipped 3.5p to 409.8p, as investors fear the Brexit vote may lead to a slowdown in the economy that will hit housebuilders hard.

In afternoon trading the biggest risers in the FTSE 100 Index were Burberry Group (+79p to 1282p), Antofagasta (+31.5p to 517.5p), Glencore (+6.3p to 192.3p), Rolls-Royce Holdings (+21.5p to 745.5p) and BHP Billiton (+25.5p to 1029p).

The biggest fallers in the FTSE 100 Index were Berkeley Group (-65p to 2627p), GKN (-4.9p to 279.1p), Diageo (-36p to 2098p), ITV (-2.7p to 188p) and BT (-4.8p to 402p).

In afternoon trading the biggest risers in the FTSE 250 Index were NMC Health (+57p to 1177p), Shawbrook Group (+7.8p to 172.4p), Playtech (+36p to 852p), Ocado Group (+10.80 to 265.3p) and Evraz (+6.70 to 165p).

The biggest fallers in the FTSE 250 Index were IP Group (-10.00 to 157.8p), CYBG (-7.7p to 235.3p), National Express (-8.9p to 316.5p), Go-Ahead Group (-50p to 1897p) and Entertainment One (-4.8p to 196.7p).