THE FTSE 100 Index surrendered some of its recent gains today after the US Federal Reserve kept the door ajar for further action to stimulate the country’s economic recovery.

The absence of any firm action from policymakers disappointed some investors as the Footsie slipped 30.1 points to 5546.1. This was after the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed near to its opening mark in the wake of the Fed’s decision to leave policy unchanged.

Shares on the back foot in London included insurer Aviva, which slipped 3% or 13.6p to 403.4p, while the recent rally by Lloyds Bank Group came to an end as its shares fell 1.4p to 75.4p.

The mining sector did its best to prop up the top flight, while Imperial Tobacco shares were 1% higher - up 30p to 1923p - after the world’s fourth-largest tobacco group said it continued to trade in line with expectations.

Another quiet session for corporate news was dominated by the announcement from FirstGroup that its founder and chief executive Sir Muir Lockhead planned to leave the transport business at the end of March.

He will be replaced by former London Underground boss Tim O’Toole, but the announcement received a lukewarm response from investors as shares dropped 3p to 348.4p.