Gains from market heavyweight Vodafone and stronger banks and commodity stocks helped drag the FTSE share index higher on Friday, although gains were capped by some caution ahead of a key U.S. jobs report, and a big batch of euro zone data.
At 09:26 a.m. BT, the FTSE 100 <.FTSE> index was up 12.09 points, or 0.2 percent at 5,636.35, recovering after a 0.8 percent fall on Thursday, albeit in low volumes at just under 10 percent of the 90-day moving average.
A quiet start as traders sit back and wait for key data from the euro zone, with Italian yields above 7 percent again the jitters remain, said Mic Mills, head of electronic dealing at ETX Capital.
But most focus will be on the U.S. non-farm payrolls this afternoon which may well reverse the enthusiasm of yesterday's ADP jobs number.
Euro zone December economic, industrial, and services confidence data, together with November retail sales and unemployment numbers will all be released at 10:00 a.m. BT.
Domestic British banks rallied after recent falls on fears over recapitalisation moves by European lenders exposed to the euro zone debt crisis, with part-state-owned Lloyds Banking Group
Integrated oils <.FTNMX0530> provided a big boost for the FTSE 100 index as Brent crude prices extended recent gains on worries over a demand squeeze amid mounting tensions between Iran and the West.
Mobile phones giant Vodafone
Broker comment also provided a number of other big blue chip movers, particularly in the absence of much corporate news.
On the downside, a cautious note on British fund managers weighed on blue chip Ashmore
We remain particularly cautious on fund flows in Europe as banks which are major distributors of funds continue to focus on shoring up deposits, Credit Suisse said.
Hedge fund manager Man Group
Food retailers were the worst blue chip performers on a sector basis, led by WM.Morrison Supermarkets
Concerns about the health of the British consumer were highlighted by the latest domestic data.
December UK Halifax house price survey came in weaker than expected, with a 0.9 percent decline on the month, against a Reuters poll forecast for a 0.2 percent gain, with the price index in the 3 months to December down 1.3 percent, against a 0.8 percent Reuters poll estimate.
(Additional reporting by David Brett; Editing by Mike Nesbit)