The FTSE 100 'struggled for direction' on another quiet day for the index

Donald TrumpMario Tama / GettyPresident Trump’s upcoming speech to Congress dominated market narratives on Monday.

European markets were mixed on Monday on a day that saw little substantial movement in the majority of the continent’s major indexes.

In the UK, the FTSE 100 closed higher by just shy of 0.15% to end the day at 7,253 points, driven upward by commodity focused firms, and by distribution and outsourcing company Bunzl.

Bunzl gained more than 3% after a solid set of results showed that pre-tax profits rose to £478.2 million in 2016 from £411.2 million in the previous year.

Markets lacked any real driver on the day, with investment decisions “tempered by (the now routine) uncertainty before Donald Trump’s speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday,” according to Jasper Lawler of London Capital Group.

In an email a little earlier, Lawler added: “In UK markets, mostly well-received corporate earnings results were offset by disadvantageous court and regulator rulings. The FTSE 100 struggled for direction with a rise in oil company shares numbing the pain of a slide in the insurance sector and a drop in the shares of London Stock Exchange.”

Here is how the FTSE’s day looked:

Elsewhere on the continent, Germany’s DAX ended 0.17% higher, while France’s CAC was virtually unmoved, gaining 0.01%.

One exception to the relative monotony in markets was Italy’s FTSE MIB, which ended just shy of 1.7% higher, driven upwards by strong performances from the country’s banking sector on the day. Two banks, Intesa Sanpaolo and Banco Bpm, climbed more than 5%, while Banca Popolare Emilia Romagna ended more than 4% up. It is worth noting that the FTSE MIB is quite frequently the most volatile index in Europe.

Here is the Europe-wide scoreboard:

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