FTSE 100 wipes out early gains

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(Close): The FTSE 100 fell back after opening higher on Tuesday as trading resumed following Monday's holiday.

London's blue-chip index was down 40 points, or 0.64%, at 6,230.79 points at close of trading despite Chinese stock markets posting their biggest daily gain for three months.

Shares in RSA Insurance added 1.64%, while Royal Mail gained 1.60%.

Dublin-based business support services group DCC was also a gainer, up by 0.48%.

Broadcaster ITV was a big faller, shedding 2.59%. BHP Billiton suffered sharp falls, down 2.06%.

Augustin Eden, analyst at Accendo Markets, said: "The FTSE 100 is still in the midst of sideways consolidation, but with a welcome test of last week's 6,280 ceiling and a close venture to 6,300."

On the FTSE 250, Alliance Trust rose 2.46% after RIT Capital Partners made an approach for the investment firm.

RIT confirmed talks on Tuesday, saying a merger possibility was at "a very preliminary stage of consideration". Shares in RIT fell 2.41%.

In the commodities markets, Brent crude was up 0.18% $49.85.

On the currency markets, the pound was down 0.76% against the dollar at $1.4528, and fell 0.72% against the euro to €1.3048.