The exuberant post-Fed mood quickly faded on Friday with comments from one US policymaker dampening stocks before the close of trade.
Risk appetite was also scaled back as caution set in ahead of the German elections at the weekend with the outcome still highly uncertain.
The FTSE 100 finished 28.96 points lower at 6,596.43, a fall of 0.44% on the day.
The Federal Reserve surprised analysts on Wednesday with the decision not to scale back stimulus, sparking a huge surge on global stock markets worldwide.
After a broadly flat start this morning however, stocks sank into the red by the afternoon after the head of the St Louis Fed, James Bullard, said that the central bank could still taper quantitative easing at its next meeting in October. He admitted that this month's decision to maintain stimulus was a close call.
"This admission so soon after Wednesday's surprise has introduced an element of sogginess to today's afternoon trading with investors reluctant to take on any significant new positions ahead of the weekend, in what has been a fairly positive week for European equity markets," said Senior Market Analyst Michael Hewson from CMC Markets.
Also on investors' minds today will be the looming elections in Germany this weekend, with the outcome still highly uncertain given that a rising euro-sceptic movement across the country could complicate things for Angela Merkel's CDU party.
Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst at IG said that the elections is "the only real cloud on the horizon now" and it would be a major upset if euro-sceptics made significant gains.
He said: "Like most Europeans, Germans have had enough of the crisis and would rather not rock the boat, even if it is they that are underpinning the rescue and recovery efforts."
FTSE 100: Miners track metal prices lower
Falling metal prices were weighing on mining stocks today as commodities pulled back after recent gains. Vedanta, Antofagasta, Fresnillo, Randgold, Anglo American and ENRC fell sharply as gold, silver and copper values took a hit.
Food and sweeteners manufacturer Tate & Lyle was also a heavy faller after the stock's rating was cut by Credit Suisse from 'outperform' to 'neutral'. The bank said: "The long-running forward price-to-earnings multiple is 12 versus 13.5 today. That looks right to us."
United Utilities was retreating after yesterday's strong gains, dragged down after Beaufort Securities lowered its recommendation to 'hold'.
Banking stocks were also out of favour with domestic lenders RBS, Lloyds and Barclays among the worst performers. RBS, which announced this morning the sale of a further 20% stake in Direct Line Insurance, was being weighed down by comments by Investec which said that the third-quarter trading statement on November 1st "may (once again) prove to be a poor time to own the shares!"
Heading the other way was supermarket chain Sainsbury after Citigroup upgraded the group to 'neutral' ahead of its second-quarter trading update in a couple of weeks. The bank said it expects a "big improvement" in like-for-like sales trends from the first quarter.
BP was also making gains this morning on market chatter that US oil major Exxon could be interested in making a bid for its smaller rival. One analyst however suggested that these rumours should be taken "with a pinch of salt" perhaps as a result of light news flow on Friday.
Pharmaceuticals group AstraZeneca rose after receiving a green light from European regulators for its nasal influenza vaccine for children.
FTSE 250: Premier Farnell, ICAP hit by downgrades
Electronic components distributor Premier Farnell was a heavy faller after yesterday's first-half report as Numis cut the stock to 'hold', outweighing a Cantor Fitzgerald upgrade to 'buy'.
Interdealer broker ICAP was also trading lower after Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgraded the stock to 'neutral'. The group was also making headlines on reports that it could soon agree a settlement with regulators over the LIBOR rate-rigging scandal.
Insurance firm Jardine Lloyd Thompson, meanwhile, was in demand after buying Towers Watson's reinsurance brokerage business for $250m.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Shire Plc (SHP) 2,593.00p +2.01%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,127.00p +1.44%
GKN (GKN) 360.70p +1.41%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 396.40p +1.38%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 328.60p +1.20%
Pearson (PSON) 1,301.00p +1.17%
Centrica (CNA) 402.20p +1.16%
Reed Elsevier (REL) 845.00p +1.14%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 2,878.00p +0.91%
Schroders (SDR) 2,631.00p +0.88%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,116.00p -4.37%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 851.50p -3.89%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,676.00p -3.41%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,033.00p -3.37%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,591.00p -2.69%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 1,558.00p -2.62%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 766.50p -2.23%
Old Mutual (OML) 191.90p -1.89%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,535.50p -1.82%
Barclays (BARC) 273.45p -1.74%
FTSE 250 - Risers
esure Group (ESUR) 262.70p +5.08%
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 120.50p +3.97%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 45.50p +3.27%
Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group (JLT) 942.00p +2.95%
Playtech (PTEC) 739.50p +2.71%
Cranswick (CWK) 1,189.00p +2.50%
Kenmare Resources (KMR) 27.50p +2.23%
Ted Baker (TED) 1,909.00p +2.19%
Countrywide (CWD) 570.00p +2.15%
Big Yellow Group (BYG) 425.60p +1.94%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Anite (AIE) 112.50p -6.64%
Alent (ALNT) 340.00p -6.21%
Britvic (BVIC) 554.50p -5.78%
Premier Farnell (PFL) 215.20p -5.66%
Vesuvius (VSVS) 432.20p -5.43%
Polymetal International (POLY) 669.00p -5.17%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 202.40p -4.89%
Daejan Holdings (DJAN) 3,652.00p -4.80%
Lonmin (LMI) 332.00p -4.68%
Tullett Prebon (TLPR) 352.50p -4.60%