Markets trod water as the US government shutdown meant its closely-followed employment statistics were not published.
The benchmark FTSE 100 traded in a narrow range and closed just 4.84 points higher at 6,453.88.
Michael Hewson, senior market analyst at CMC Markets, said: “Markets are still in ‘wait and see’ mode in the absence of the scheduled US employment report with little in the way of meaningful trading volumes going through, as traders chose to start their weekends early. In essence it’s been a case of ‘no payrolls, no interest’ as markets end the week on a broadly positive note.”
Barclays shares were 1.7p lower at 271.4p as the market swallowed the 5 per cent of shares not taken up in its rights issue. Standard Chartered was also lower after being downgraded by broker Numis. The shares slipped 20.5p at 1,445p.
But other financials were buoyed by what was perceived as a strong take-up of Barclays’ extra shares, with Royal Bank of Scotland adding 6.5p at 373.2p and Standard Life 8.7p higher at 354.1p.
Shares in floor coverings retailer Carpetright dived 8 per cent or 3.9p to 306.6p after it issued a shock profits warning and said chief executive Darren Shapland had been replaced by founder Lord Harris of Peckham, who gave a sobering assessment of market conditions. That came as a blow to other DIY-focused stocks, with B&Q-owner Kingfisher the biggest faller in the top flight with a decline of 11p to 369p.
In the wider retail sector, Next was 50p lower at 5,090p and supermarket chain Tesco dropped 3.5p to 361.5p.
But food ingredients firm Tate & Lyle rose 6p to 745p after it said its second quarter performance met expectations despite earlier softness in the US drinks sector.