Blue chips stocks struggled for direction in afternoon trading in the wake of the US Federal Reserve deciding to hold interest rates.

The FTSE 100 Index slipped 6.5 points to 6905, after the Fed held rates on Wednesday evening ensuring the flow of cheap money for investors continues for a while longer. The FTSE 250 Index fell 119.2 points to 17868.6.

IG chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp said: "As of yesterday's intraday peak around 6940, the FTSE 100 had gained over 3% from the lows of last week. It is no surprise, therefore, to see profit-taking come into the equation as the weekend looms."

In the second tier Sports Direct, jumped 13.4p to 300.3p, after the troubled retailer said its founding billionaire Mike Ashley has become its chief executive "with immediate effect."

Current boss Dave Forsey, who has worked for the business for 32 years, leaves the business without any explanation.

Investors are cheered that the man who launched the business in 1982 is back at the helm. Shares in the business have fallen by more than half over last year, weighed by slowing sales.

In afternoon trading the biggest risers in the FTSE 100 Index were Mediclinic International (+15.5p to 945p), Barratt Developments (+7.8p to 494.8p), Persimmon (+27p to 1824p), Anglo American (+13.1p to 933.6p) and Dixons Carphone (+4.2p to 372p).

The biggest fallers in the FTSE 100 Index were Polymetal International (-86p to 973p), Royal Bank of Scotland (-4.1p to 182.4p), ITV (-4.2p to 190p), BAE Systems (-11p to 526.5p) and Provident Financial (-59p to 2953p).

In afternoon trading the biggest risers in the FTSE 250 Index were Sports Direct (+13.4p to 300.3p), AG Barr (+16p to 523.5p), Softcat (+8.3p to 318.3p), Bellway (+56p to 2377p) and Bovis Homes (+15.5p to 873.5p).

The biggest fallers in the FTSE 250 Index were Indivior (-42p to 284.2p), Euromoney (-49p to 1075p), IP Group (-6.5p to 176.8p), Zoopla (-11.8p to 321.2p) and DFS Furniture (-7p to 251.4p).