London’s FTSE 100 Index has slipped from the 6,000 level amid lacklustre trading after the Christmas holiday.
The last full business day of the year saw the Footsie drop five points to 5991.3, as traders took their lead from a disappointing session for Asian markets overnight.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.1% as investors sold export-based stocks due to the strengthening of the yen against the dollar, a factor which cuts the value of profits and makes products less competitive abroad.
In London, the top tier closed above the 6,000 level for the first time since June 2008 on Christmas Eve as thin trading volumes and a Santa rally helped blue chips move higher.
However, the rally has run out of steam since then, with heavyweights such as BP among those lower after a drop of 2.55p to 470.8p.
Banks and retailers did their best to prop up the top flight as Barclays rose 2.15p to 266.85p, part-nationalised Lloyds Banking Group added 0.2p to 67.8p and Tesco cheered 1.1p to 436.5p.
Silver miner Fresnillo was top of the FTSE 100 pile after lifting 20p to 1639p, a gain of more than 1%.