The FTSE 100 added 9 points to 7.757.54 on Thursday morning amid a plethora of trading updates from some of the UK's big retailers.
Tesco (TSCO) reported a like-for-like sales increase of 2.3% in the UK and Ireland, helped by record Christmas trading, but was held back by the integration of Palmer & Harvey. The shares dipped 3.5% to 7.3p.
Marks & Spencer (MKS) fell 2.9% to 314.6p after reporting a UK like-for-like sales dropped by 1.4% in the 13 weeks to 30 December, with clothing and home sales down 2.8% and food sales down 0.4%.
AO World (AO.) said it is on track to meet full year forecasts following continued revenue growth. A Q3 trading update said that its UK business continued to grow with overall revenue up by 11.4% and ao.com revenue up by 11.2% year on year. The shares were 1.2% lower at 129.5p.
Barratt Developments (BDEV) also failed to win over investors, falling 1.5% to 624.8p despite a strong first half performance, with good customer demand driven by a positive market backdrop.
Ultra Electronics (ULE), the international defence, security, transport and energy group, surged 15.6% to 1,440.5p after reporting a strong order intake of around £900m and order cover on expected 2018 revenues of around 62%.