London’s FTSE 100 Index pulled back from the 6000 mark as traders wound down before the Christmas break.
The Footsie dropped 6 points to 5989 after Thursday’s last minute Santa Rally, which saw the market break past the 6000 barrier for the first time since June 2008.
Trading volumes remain thin ahead of the Christmas holidays – with the market closing early – and with little in the way of corporate or UK economic news stocks are struggling to make headway.
Mining and banking stocks weighed the market down, with Eurasian Natural Resources losing 11p at 1043p and Barclays shedding 2.5p at 265p.
Randgold Resources hit the top of the fallers’ board in the wake of falling gold prices, losing more than 5% or 295p to 5205p.
Retailers were once again prominent on the risers board, as a last minute push for Christmas purchases was expected on the high street.
Marks & Spencer rose 2.1p to 376.5p, while B&Q parent Kingfisher added 3p to 266.7p and supermarket Tesco lifted 1.4p to 434.9p.
Outside the top flight, sportswear retailer JJB rose 0.7p to 5p after it revealed investors – including the foundation of Microsoft founder Bill Gates – were poised to raise more than £30 million to prevent its collapse.