Uncertainty over talks to head off the looming fiscal cliff in the US kept the London market in check today as eurozone concerns also weighed on stocks.
The FTSE 100 Index closed 3.5 points lower at 5,866.8 as worries over a lack of progress to resolve the US budget crisis returned to the fore.
Royal Bank of Scotland was on the fallers board after its £59million deal to sell its Indian banking operations to HSBC fell through.
Shares in the bank fell 3.8p to 295.2p, but HSBC closed 6.1p higher at 637.7p.
B&Q owner Kingfisher was another stock suffering falls, down 1p to 278p after brokers at UBS downgraded the group from buy to neutral following results on Thursday.
Outside the top flight, gaming firm Sportingbet fell more than 3% after it said a lack of sport fixtures had triggered a drop in first-quarter revenues.
The biggest FTSE 100 risers were Arm Holdings up 11.5p to 774p, Aberdeen Asset Management ahead 4.8p to 338p, IMI 14p higher at £10.54 and Polymetal International up 14p to £10.62.
The biggest FTSE 100 fallers were Burberry Group down 30p to £12.87, Anglo American off 31.5p to 1,732.5p, United Utilities 12p lower at 681.5p and Eurasian Natural Resources down 4.6p to 270.2p.
Steven McKay, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen, noted that Bridge Energy moved 2.73% higher at 113p, Petrofac added 0.74% to £16.28 and Enquest closed up 0.71% at 114.1p.
On the fallers board, Parkmead fell 1.82% to 13.875p, Faroe Petroleum slipped 1.26% to 137.375p and A.G. Barr closed the day 1.08% lower at 476.55p.