The FTSE 100 share index inched up 24.3 points to 6,004.7 on Friday morning (up 0.4 per cent).

Banks saw their fortunes decline with Barclays, HBOS, Lloyds TSB and Royal Bank of Scotland all down 1.1-1.8 per cent.

Insurer Friends Provident did well, rising 1.7 per cent. Tate & Lyle also saw its share values rise 3.3 per cent.

Oil companies saw their values edge up with Royal Dutch Shell and BP up 0.6 and 0.8 per cent respectively.

Miners however fared poorly with Rio Tinto and BHP Billion falling 0.3 and 0.4 per cent.

Pub owners Mitchells & Butlers and Punch Taverns fell 3.8 and 5.0 per cent respectively after Punch said it would not be going ahead with any deal with Mitchells & Butlers.

Liberty International also fell 0.4 per cent.