Blue chip shares struggled for direction as traders reacted very differently to results from oil majors Royal Dutch Shell and BP.
Shell's profit was strongly ahead in the third quarter of the year sending stocks up, while BP's shares fell after it said its replacement cost profit almost halved in the same period.
The FTSE 100 Index edged up 2.1 points to 6956.3, as investors digested the new 2019 departure date of Bank of England governor Mark Carney and weaker-than-forecast manufacturing data last month.
Shell said in the three months to the end of September its earnings attributable to shareholders adjusted for one-time items rose 17% year-on-year to $2.79bn (£2.28bn), helped by cost-cutting.
Shares lifted 80p to 2195p, making it the best top-flight performer in afternoon trading.
BP said its replacement cost profit almost halved to $933m in the third quarter, from $1.8bn a year ago, citing an oil supply glut, weak gas prices outside the US, and one-off upstream costs.
It was one of the weakest blue chip performers in the afternoon, with shares down 9.7p to 474p.
In afternoon trading the biggest risers in the FTSE 100 Index were Royal Dutch Shell (+80p to 2195p), Polymetal International (+32p to 923p), Fresnillo (+56p to 1696p), Travis Perkins (+41p to 1374p) and Taylor Wimpy (+3.6p to 145.2p).
The biggest fallers in the FTSE 100 Index were Shire (-222p to 4428p), Standard Chartered (-32.5p to 679.4p), BP (-9.7p to 474p), Intertek Group (-64p to 3354p) and Smith & Nephew (-21p to 1162p).
In afternoon trading the biggest risers in the FTSE 250 Index were Moneysupermarket.com Group (+23.6p to 285.5p), Hill & Smith (+60p to 1064p), Vedanta Resources (+39p to 752.5p), Supergroup (+68p to 1414p) and Bovis Homes (+34.5p to 792p).
The biggest fallers in the FTSE 250 Index were BTG (-24p to 634p), Savills (-21.5p to 672.5p), Virgin Money Holdings (-9.1p to 320p), Aggreko (-21p to 780.5p) and Weir Group (-39p to 1661p).