The FTSE 100 held steady on Friday, with banks gaining but heavyweight oils and miners led lower by commodity prices and with trading cautious ahead of U.S. CPI data.
Bit of a mixed picture, said Chris Iggo at Axa Investment Managers. With oil at $63 and other commodities struggling, people have been taken by surprise. It's hitting the resources sector which has been so much behind FTSE's rise of late, but then it's also having a positive effect on other sectors in that it leaves consumers with more disposable income.
Miners were down across the board with Kazakhmys , Xstrata , Antafogasta , and Vedanta Resources down between 2.4 and 1.4 percent each. Base metals prices were softer with copper and aluminium struggling to hold key support levels as investors worried about global economic growth, traders said.
By 11:39 a.m., the FTSE 100 closed down 2.7 points, or 0.05 percent, to 5,876.1.
Banks were among the biggest risers. Standard Chartered rose 1.5 percent after UBS upped its rating to buy from neutral and its target price from 1,550 pence from 1,450p.
HBOS rose 2 percent, benefiting from positive broker comment and Alliance & Leicester was up 1.6 percent while Northern Rock rose 1.5 percent.
Among other standout gainers, Morrison Supermarket rose 2.2 percent and Hammerson rose 1.1 percent, both on positive broker comment.
Oils were weak as crude stayed near $63 a barrel, near its lowest levels since March, as ample U.S. fuel stocks looked set to meet winter heating demand in the world's biggest consumer. BP fell 0.8 percent. Royal Dutch Shell was steady and Cairn Energy slipped 0.2 percent.
Among telecoms, Vodafone fell 0.6 percent. The company's Italian unit is to announce a commercial agreement on Friday with Italian broadband company Fastweb , sources familiar with the deal told Reuters.