Footsie closed a few points in the blue after struggling to find any real sense of direction amid a dearth of company news.
There was some interesting international economic news for traders to ponder though.
The eurozone grew more than expected in the second quarter, helped by a strong performance from the trading bloc's biggest economy Germany. The 16-member monetary union grew by 1% in the second quarter from the first, ahead of expectations of a 0.7% rise.
Retail sales in the US rebounded last month after a weak June, but the slow rate of growth suggests consumer sentiment remains subdued in the world's biggest economy. Sales climbed by 0.4% in July having fallen by 0.3% the previous month. However, stripping out the impact of cars, sales grew by just 0.2%, slightly below expectations. Excluding the impact of sales from petrol stations, sales fell by 0.1%.
In company news, insurance giant Aviva gave traders something to talk about over their Friday lunchtime pint when it was reported that its rival RSA Group made an approach last month to buy Aviva's general insurance operations.
RSA, the country's biggest commercial insurer, made the approach last month in a letter from chairman John Napier to his opposite number at Aviva, Lord Sharman, but Aviva couldn't be persuaded to split its general and life insurance units.
Aviva moves higher on hopes that RSA might return with a bigger bid; RSA moves south for the same reason. Other big names in the insurance game such as Legal & General and Standard Life are wanted as sector consolidation seems to be on the agenda.
TUI Travel rallied after a weak spell that came on the back of the package tour operator's warning that full-year profits will be at the low end of forecasts due to softer UK bookings and the weak euro.
Goldman Sachs has lifted its rating on the shares
from "neutral" to "buy", while news that a rival, Sun4U, has gone belly-up, won't harm the company's competitive position either.
Oil group Cairn Energy and Indian miner Vedanta continued to move in opposite directions following news yesterday that they are in talks over the sale of Cairn's Indian assets. The news has sent Cairn climbing, but Vedanta lower. Reports today say Vedanta is to buy 51% in Cairn India.
BP will pay a record $50.6m fine for safety violations at its Texas City refinery, the troubled plant where 15 men were killed after a 2005 explosion. The firm will also invest $500m between now and 2016 to improve safety at the US refinery.
The mystery of Thursday's sharp rise in the share price of African Diamonds has been resolved, with the company revealing it has received an unsolicited bid approach. The board has given the approach short shrift, however, as it believes the proposal is not one it would recommend shareholders accept.
Further analysis at its O.B. Ranch #1 well on the Bongo prospect in Texas has led Caza Oil & Gas to announce "a potentially significant" discovery of natural gas and natural gas condensate. It had already flagged a find late last month, but it reached total depth of 16,280 feet on Tuesday and high resolution electric log analysis indicates the well encountered more than 100 feet of net potential pay.
It could be a case of 'taxi to the terminal zone' for black cab maker Manganese Bronze after Chinese carmaker Geely Automobile decided not to support a placing by the loss making UK company.
"The decision not to proceed with the placing should not affect the future of our joint venture or international expansion plans," said Manganese Bronze chief executive John Russell.
Scottish in vitro diagnostics firm Axis-Shield has welcomed formal approval of anti-CCP antibody testing for the diagnosis of early rheumatoid arthritis.
Billing Services, which provides payment and financial risk management services to the telecommunications industry, reported a small drop in earnings in the six months ended 30 June and said second half results will be modestly lower than first half results.
Singapore-based clean energy solutions firm Alternative Energy has entered into a joint venture with a Chinese manufacture for the design and manufacture of energy saving light emitting display (LED) lighting products.
Zambia-focused mining company Berkeley Mineral Resources has raised £2.05m through a placing to fund the exercise of an option over the rights to process stockpiles of zinc and lead tailings at the Kabwe mine.
BPC, which explores for oil and gas in the Bahamas, said latest results from a seismic programme in its licenses next to Cuban waters show various possible 'direct hydrocarbon indicators.'
Ceramic Fuel Cells, a developer of low emission electricity generation units, has been asked to install a BlueGen gas-to-electricity unit by Japan's largest gas utility.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Aviva (AV.) 387.40p +5.47%
TUI Travel (TT.) 201.20p +4.47%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 468.90p +3.56%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 90.75p +3.24%
Standard Life (SL.) 209.90p +3.04%
Schroders (SDR) 1,367.00p +2.78%
ICAP (IAP) 390.00p +2.58%
Schroders NV (SDRC) 1,107.00p +2.50%
Barclays (BARC) 317.00p +2.41%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,224.50p +2.38%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Vedanta Resources (VED) 2,051.00p -5.96%
Wolseley (WOS) 1,327.00p -3.21%
Home Retail Group (HOME) 215.20p -2.18%
Next (NXT) 1,924.00p -2.14%
Inmarsat (ISAT) 688.50p -1.92%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,004.00p -1.76%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,715.00p -1.72%
Kingfisher (KGF) 203.70p -1.64%
Randgold Resources (RRS) 5,510.00p -1.52%
Unilever (ULVR) 1,705.00p -1.50%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Senior (SNR) 122.60p +3.37%
Rotork (ROR) 1,492.00p +2.90%
Dana Petroleum (DNX) 1,677.00p +2.88%
Stagecoach Group (SGC) 165.30p +2.86%
Drax Group (DRX) 389.10p +2.69%
Hansteen Holdings (HSTN) 65.00p +2.60%
John Wood Group (WG.) 349.80p +2.49%
Centamin Egypt (CEY) 167.00p +2.20%
Connaught (CNT) 16.43p +2.18%
Greggs (GRG) 436.70p +2.13%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
QinetiQ Group (QQ.) 109.50p -5.28%
Yell Group (YELL) 19.16p -4.20%
Chemring Group (CHG) 2,678.00p -3.81%
Micro Focus International Plc (MCRO) 284.00p -3.73%
Paragon Group Of Companies (PAG) 132.20p -3.43%
SIG (SHI) 94.80p -3.17%
CPP Group (CPP) 225.00p -3.02%
Mcbride (MCB) 134.50p -2.96%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 27.97p -2.88%
Melrose Resources (MRS) 293.00p -2.88%