The FTSE 100 share index fell 69.6 points to 5,895.5 on Friday (down 1.2 per cent) after earlier gains nearly took the index above the 6000 point mark.

Banks all fell with Alliance & Leicester, Barclays, HBOS, HSBC, Lloyds TSB and Royal Bank of Scotland all falling 0.9-3 per cent.

Miners had mixed fortunes with Anglo American, BHP Billiton, Kazakhmys and Xstrata all falling, however Antofagasta and Vedanta Resources rose 0.5 and 3.7 per cent respectively.

Oil companies also dropped with Royal Dutch Shell down 0.4 per cent and BP falling 0.6 per cent.

Despite posting good first quarter results for its confectionary business, Cadbury Schweppes fell 2.6 per cent. Telecoms giant Vodafone also fell 4.3 per cent on Friday.

Insurer Friends Provident fell 3.6 per cent after reports that J.C. Flowers was thinking of abandoning takeover plans for the company.

Energy companies did well however with British Energy rising 0.2 per cent after reports of a possible bid by French firm EDF. Scottish & Southern Energy and International Power also rose 2.2 and 3 per cent respectively.

Engineering company Amec also rose 2.9 per cent.

BAE Systems fell 4.9 per cent after calls for the resumption of a probe into corruption in an arms deal with Saudi Arabia.