UK shares opened in negative territory on Wednesday as the United States threatened to slap 10 percent tariffs on a list of $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, escalating a trade war further and sending jitters across global markets.
The UK’s top share index held its ground on Tuesday as investors kept an eye on upcoming corporate results while assessing whether Prime Minister Theresa May would be able to hang on to power and deliver a smooth exit from the European Union.
British online supermarket Ocado warned its pretax loss this year would likely be larger than market expectations due to a step up in investment and management bonuses.
Ocado reported a 13.9 percent fall in first-half core earnings, reflecting a step-up in investment in the business.
The FTSE 100 was flat at 0806 GMT, at 7,732 points still flirting with the record high it reached in mid-January.
Ocado said Kroger had agreed an exclusive deal to use its technology for grocery deliveries, securing the online supermarket pioneer’s entry, sending its shares up 50%.
Online supermarket Ocado (OCDO.L) said its quarterly sales growth and profit were dented by snow storms that froze Britain in early March.
Shell rose 1.8 percent, helping send the pan-European STOXX 600 index up 0.2 percent by 0814 GMT.
Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE see-sawed before steadying up 0.2 percent as investors hesitated ahead of the Fed's two-day meeting.
Ocado has seen a pick-up in enquiries from US supermarket groups interested in possible partnership deals in the wake of Amazon's $13.7 billion deal to buy Whole Foods.