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The FTSE 100 Index struggled for direction despite a flurry of corporate statementsReuters

The London market struggled for direction in afternoon trading (28 July), despite a flurry of corporate earnings reports.

The FTSE 100 Index edged 7.3 points lower to 6743.1, as traders waded through statements from heavyweights such as Royal Dutch Shell, BT and BAE Systems. The FTSE 250 Index lifted 48.2 points to 17314.1.

However, one of the biggest fallers in the top flight was Asian-focused bank Standard Chartered, which fell almost 4% without a release to the market.

The lender slipped 22.5p to 607.6p, despite last night naming the former deputy governor of the Bank of Spain Jose Vinals as its new chairman, ending a 16-month search for a new leader to oversee its turnaround.

Investors were cautious on Asian-focused stocks ahead of the Bank of Japan's latest stimulus measures, expected later today.

Trustnet Direct market analyst Tony Cross added Royal Dutch Shell "was one of the biggest drags on the index" due to falling oil prices and a failure to meet expectations. Shares fell 73p to 2032p.

In afternoon trading the biggest risers on the FTSE 100 index were Rolls-Royce (+108.5p to 840.5p), Fresnillo (+88p to 1935p), Anglo American (+37.6p to 836.8p), Randgold Resources (+385p to 9040p) and Sky (+30p to 917.5p).

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 index were SSE (-75p to 1551p), Smith & Nephew (-57p to 1243p), Standard Chartered (-22.5p to 607.6p), Royal Dutch Shell (-73p to 2032p) and Lloyds Banking Group (-1.89p to 53.86p).

In afternoon trading the biggest risers on the FTSE 250 index were Sports Direct International (+21.8p to 279.3p), Just Eat (+37.1p to 521p), Polymetal International (+76p to 1123p), Centamin (+11p to 164.5p) and Thomas Cook Group (+3.95p to 63.95p).

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 250 index were International Personal Finance (-73.4p to 263.6p), Rank Group (-9.5p to 221.6p), Brewin Dolphin (-10.7p to 250.9p), Inchcape (-27p to 692.50p) and Crest Nicholson (-16.5p to 423.7p).