Uncertainty lowers FTSE below 6000

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The FTSE 100 index opened down 37.6 points to stand at 5982.8

The FTSE 100 Index has slipped below the 6,000 barrier as investors remained on the sidelines ahead of closely-watched US employment figures.

The shares wobble, which first materialised on Thursday afternoon, meant the top flight lost another 37.6 points to stand at 5982.8.

With the US jobs figures fuelling uncertainty, miners retreated with Kazakhmys down 29p at 1590p and Antofagasta off 35p at 1503p.

Arm Holdings, which was Thursday’s big riser after Microsoft said it would run the latest version of its Windows software on Arm’s microchips, gave back some of the gains to stand 22.9p lower at 459.1p, a drop of almost 5%.

One of the bright spots of the session came from the retail sector after JD Sports Fashion maintained its recent run of forecast-beating updates.

Despite the disruption caused by the snow in December, JD said like-for-like sales at its UK stores, which include 350 JD Sports and Size? outlets, were up 2.5% in the last five weeks of 2010. It also revealed that profits for the year to January 28 will exceed City expectations of £75.4 million.

JD shares added another 2% or 23.5p to 889p, while rival Sports Direct International gained 1.2p to 166.1p.

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