FTSE recoups losses
The FTSE 100 Index was hit by Thanksgiving low volumes and slow reaction to the Autumn Statement Getty Images

Blue chip shares struggled for direction as traders digested Chancellor Philip Hammond's first Autumn Statement and struggled with low volumes due to the US Thanksgiving holiday.

The FTSE 100 Index slipped 3.3 points to 6814.4, as the London market coped without the added volumes of traders reacting to moves from Wall Street. The FTSE 250 Index fell 64.7 points to 17557.8.

IG chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp said: "The usual Thanksgiving calm has descended across markets, as European investors reconcile themselves to a day of low volumes and quiet trading."

In the second tier, the UK's largest estate agency Countrywide warned profits will come in at the "lower end of market expectations" as transactions slowed following the Brexit vote and changes to stamp duty.

The move came after shares in Countrywide and other estate agents fell sharply on Wednesday (23 November) after Chancellor Philip Hammond announced a ban on letting agents' fees to tenants in the Autumn Statement.

Shares in Countrywide hit an all-time low on Thursday (24 November) of 165.9p, before gaining a little ground in later dealing to move to 21.8p lower at 172.1p.

In afternoon trading the biggest risers in the FTSE 100 Index were Direct Line (+11.4p to 359.8p), Ashtead Group (+28p to 1488p), CRH (+47p to 2696p), Antofagasta (+11p to 712p) and Merlin Entertainments (+5.4p to 435.7p).

The biggest fallers in the FTSE 100 Index were National Grid (-22p to 909.7p), Babcock International (-17.5p to 938.5p), DCC (-115p to 6210p), International Airlines Group (-8.1p to 442.5p) and Carnival (-70p to 4066p).

In afternoon trading the biggest risers in the FTSE 250 Index were Thomas Cook (+2.5p to 81.5p), Domino's Pizza Group (+8.6p to 338.5p), Big Yellow Group (+17p to 672p), Mitie Group (+5p to 206.5p) and Marshalls (+6.4p to 296.1p).

The biggest fallers in the FTSE 250 Index were Countrywide (-21.8p to 172.1p), Paragon Group (-21.8p to 348.7p), Pets at Home (-13.2p to 220.3p), UDG Healthcare Public (-37p to 621.5p) and Evraz (-13p to 258p).