GLOOM in the economy and in the weather saw Balfour Beatty and bakery firm Greggs slide in the FTSE 250 after both issued profit warnings.

Balfour Beatty fell nine per cent and Greggs by eight per cent though the FTSE 100 was more resilient, rising 31.6 points to 6458.

Markets have been propped up in recent weeks by expectations that central banks will continue to support the global economy through looser monetary policy, with the European Central Bank expected to cut rates later this week.

In the FTSE 100, Aberdeen Asset Management led the way after it reported a 37 per cent rise in quarterly profits and said it would look to distribute surplus capital to shareholders. It was 33.4p higher at 450.5p.

Lloyds Banking Group was also a mover after it reduced its exposure to the troubled Spanish economy by selling its retail operations in the country.

The loss-making portfolio of mortgages and deposits will be sold to Banco Sabadell in return for a 1.8 per cent stake in the Spanish bank worth £72m.

Shareholders welcomed the disposal, coming on the eve of a first quarter trading update, as the stock improved half a penny to 53.5p.

Rentokil Initial saw a topsy-turvy day after its shares were lifted following a disposal, but later fell.

The firm offloaded lossmaking parcel delivery firm City Link to Better Capital for £1, taking a £40m charge in the process.

The business has been a thorn in its side for many years, with losses of £31m in 2011 and £26m last year.

Shares were at the top of the FTSE 250 index during the day, but ended 0.65p down at 96p.

Housebuilders did well on the FTSE 250 after a favourable review of the sector by Goldman Sachs, with Bellway up 40p to 1377p and Redrow up 6.1p to 213p.