FTSE 100 recovers from early losses

Market trader (file picture) Image copyright Getty Images

(Close): London's benchmark share index recovered from early losses to close little changed on the day.

Travel-related companies fell after news of the terror attacks in Brussels.

IAG - the airline group that includes British Airways - fell 1.5%. Hotels group Intercontinental was 1.6% lower. TUI - whose brands include Thomson and First Choice - dropped 2.8% while Thomas Cook was down more than 4%.

The FTSE 100 closed 8 points higher at 6,192.

"Events in Brussels have dominated headlines this morning, with immediate reaction in financial markets a consequence of the news," said Chris Beauchamp, senior market analyst at IG.

Stock markets across Europe recovered from early losses. In Germany the Dax index closed 0.4% higher. France's Cac 40 closed little changed.

The price of gold - an asset traditionally seen as a haven in times of uncertainty - rose 0.6% to $1,252 an ounce.

Yields on benchmark German government bonds dropped to a two-week low, as the price of the bonds - which are also seen as safe assets - rose.

Sports Direct

In London, shares in BT Group fell almost 1% after telecoms regulator Ofcom told the company to install high-speed cables to businesses much faster and reduce the prices it charges for them.

In the FTSE 250, shares in Sports Direct fell more than 10% after its founder and deputy chairman, Mike Ashley, told the Times that profits at the retailer would be lower this year.

He told the paper: "We are in trouble, we are not trading very well. We can't make the same profit we made last year."

On the currency markets, the pound fell a cent and a half against the dollar to $1.4120. Against the euro, it fell a euro cent to €1.2676.