Blue chip stocks struggled for direction as investors continue to weigh up the prospects of a hard Brexit with little fresh data to trade on.

The FTSE 100 Index lifted a modest 20.6 points to 7065, as the market traded on thin volumes and within a narrow band.

Spreadex financial analyst Connor Campbell said: "The FTSE barely moved this morning, flitting about the 7050 mark with little real sense of direction."

Royal Bank of Scotland was one of the biggest fallers in the top flight, down 3.5p at 178.4p, after it reportedly profited by taking advantage of struggling businesses.

The taxpayer-funded bank allegedly squeezed many businesses by restructuring their deals or ramping up interest rates, and eventually purchased their assets on the cheap, according to reports from BuzzFeed News and the BBC.

In the second tier investors took a punt on William Hill, following news that the bookmaker is in talks with Canadian poker firm Amaya about a potential £4.6bn merger.

Shares in William Hill, rose 9.2p to 303.4p, after it confirmed over the weekend that discussions are under way for a "merger of equals", creating one of the world's biggest online gambling firms. Amaya owns the PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker brands.

In afternoon trading, the biggest risers in the FTSE 100 Index were Rolls-Royce (+17p to 792.5p), Royal Dutch Shell (+32.5p to 2200p), Coca-Cola HBC (+26p to 1824p), Fresnillo (+23p to 1688p) and Shire (+68p to 5264p).

The biggest fallers in the FTSE 100 Index were Travis Perkins (-39p to 1428p), TUI (-29p to 1086p), Taylor Wimpey (-2.9p to 144.8p), Persimmon (-34p to 1719p), Royal Bank of Scotland (-3.5p to 178.4p).

In afternoon trading, the biggest risers in the FTSE 250 Index were Kaz Minerals (+9.6p to 248.8p), Ladbrokes (+4.2p to 137.8p), CMC Markets (+5.5p to 198.5p), Ted Baker (+68p to 2458p) and SVG Capital (+17.5p to 686p).

The biggest fallers in the FTSE 250 Index were (-13.6p to 285.2p), DFS Furniture (-10p to 248.6p), Shawbrook (-8.5p to 239.5p), Halfords Group (-11.2p to 319.2p) and Auto Trader (-13.1p to 383.3p).