Blue-chip shares struggled for momentum today despite bullish Asian bourses and a £1.3 billion takeover boost in the deals market.
GlaxoSmithKline's sale of soft drinks brands Ribena and Lucozade to Japan's Suntory pointed to more optimism around big mergers and acquisitions, after Vodafone's recent £84 billion exit from America.
But Glaxo's shares dipped 9.3p to 1641.8p and London's FTSE 100 Index retreated 25.2 points to 6522.1 in a lacklustre start to the week.
Earlier, the Nikkei 225 jumped 2.5% after Tokyo was chosen to host the 2020 summer Olympics and it emerged that Japan's economy grew faster than previously thought in the second quarter.
The world's third-largest economy grew by 3.8% year-on-year between April and June, up sharply from an initial estimate of 2.6%.
Meanwhile, Chinese data showed that the country's exports accelerated and inflation edged lower last month, raising hopes for a pick-up in the world's second-largest economy.
But another strong sales performance at budget fashion retailer Primark failed to lift shares in owner Associated British Foods, which fell 2.9% or 53p to 1798p following a rise of 16% so far this year.
Traders were spooked by ABF's warning over tough talks with European customers on sugar prices, where it is under pressure from a sugar glut and low global prices.
Analysts at Investec Securities warned there may be "trouble beyond". They said: "The big picture for us is that with the sugars profit bubble deflating, it is now Primark that needs to carry the profit can for ABF going forward."
Food ingredients firm Tate & Lyle joined it on the fallers board, after UBS downgraded its price recommendation on the blue-chip stock on risks to sucralose sweetener prices , leaving it 3.5% or 28.3p lower at 778.8p.
Oil and gas exploration group BG was the biggest faller in the FTSE 100 Index after it lowered its production guidance for the next financial year, partly due to ongoing instability in Egypt. Shares were down 4.5% or 57.5p to 1224.5p.
Luxury handbag maker Burberry advanced 2% or 32.5p to 1632p after an upgrade from HSBC, which is more optimistic on its growth prospects.
Miners also made progress on the top tier after the upbeat Chinese data, with commodities and mining giant Glencore Xstrata advancing 2.2p to 320.6p and Rio Tinto gaining 20.3p to 3118.3p.