1700:Close Stocks carved out slight gains as the pound trimmed early sharp gains, as investors reacted positively to hints of progress in Washington's trade negotiations with Beijing and its NAFTA partners.
Nevertheless, any optimism on that front was largely and easily offset by concerns around recent events in the Middle East and the risk of a direct confrontation between the US and Russia in Syria.
Whitbread topped the leaderboard, boosted by positive comments out of Berenberg while Mondi found a bid on the back of S&P's decision overnight to upgrade its rating on the company's long-term debt.
GKN and TI Fluid Systems were also wanted on the heels of the improved outlook for trade.
Somewhat conspicuously on the other hand, Fidelity China Special Situations ended the day lower.
FTSE 100 up 0.09% or 6.22 points at 7,264.56.
1549: Interfax reports Russian government has proof of the UK's role in "organising provocations" by militants involving chemical weapons in Syria's eastern Ghouta.
1500: The University of Michigan's preliminary reading on its consumer confidence gauge for April has printed at 97.8, which was down from 101.4 at the end of the previous month, leaving economists divided.
With a positive take on the data, Capital Economics says that: "[the] index remains at a high level by past standards and suggests that the slowdown in spending growth at the start of this year will prove to be a blip."
A tad less positive is Pantheon Macroeconomics's Ian Shepherdson, who writes: "sentiment remains very high by historical standards, and while it likely will drop again in May, a sustained decline to anything like alarming levels is very unlikely in the near term. Note that inflation expectations dipped a tenth to 2.7%, but the real test will come over the next few months as the reported core inflation rate rises sharply as a result of unfavorable base effects."
Separately, according to [the Department of] Labour's JOLTS survey, the number of job opening fell from 6.228m in January to 6.052m for February.
1312: Boston Fed chief Eric Rosengren says central bank may need to hike rates more times than implied by policymakers' median forecast when they last met at the end of March.
1307: Citigroup out with Q4 EPS at $1.68 (consensus: $1.61), revenues at $18.87bn, bang in-line with analyst consensus as per FacSet. Shares up 0.72%.
1227: Goldman Sachs has added buy-rated Melrose Industries to its Conviction List.
It said the company, which recently won its bitter takeover battle for engineer GKN, is "fundamentally undervalued" and its share price "materially underestimates potential future value creation".
"On our analysis, we highlight that GKN could be circa 40-60% earnings accretive to Melrose under a range of GKN margin scenarios by 2020," it said.
1220: Burberry has appointed Tate&Lyle chairman Gerry Murphy as its new chairman.
As an aside, in a research note sent to clients, analysts at Credit Suisse said social media trends for the luxury fashion house were "encouraging", with a 40% year-on-year increase in 'likes' for Q1.
"Following 2.5 years of declining consumer mindshare, the share of 'likes' stabilised in 1Q and consumer engagement picked up around the latest February fashion show."
1204: A little bit more from our friends (and not so friends, although we like them all) in the broker community.
RBC on IAG: "IAG acquired 4.61% in NAS NO - suggesting interest in a tasty Viking acquisition or an attempt to stymie competition."
Royal Mail: Room for disappointment on the dividend front, RBC says.
trade at a premium to income peers, requiring a 20-25% DPS beat on 17 May FY report to justify this."
JP Morgan cuts M&S target from 285p to 250p, projects 2019 margins in food down by 100bp, versus -70bp previously.
Focus a Q4 results on 23 May to be on strategic progress, updates on planned commercial initiatives to boost performance lost in action.
1200: JP Morgan posts Q4 EPS of $2.37, revenues of $28.52bn (consensus: $28.28bn).
1044: Three-month LME-traded copper futures are slipping from $6,874 per metric tonne at the Thursday close to $6,831 now.
In another asset class, Michael Hewson at CMC Markets is pointing out the 200-day moving average in cable at 1.4250.
"GBPUSD - the 200-week MA at 1.4250, remains a key barrier for the pound, with a break targeting a potential move to this year's peak at 1.4350 and potentially 1.4500. We have support at 1.4080 as well as the 1.3970 area.
"EURGBP - yesterday's break below the 0.8700 area opened up a move to a new 10 month low and could well signal further losses on a break below 0.8640 towards the 0.8300 level and 2017 lows. Only a move back above 0.8750 would stabilise and suggest a return to the 0.8800 area."
1034: Net new loans in China rose from 839bn yuan for February to 1.120bn in March (consensus: 1.151bn yuan).
0939: BoA-ML's Bull&Bear indicator is up from a reading of 5.4 to 5.9.
Strategists at the investment bank commenting: "neutral reading indicates Q2 story rotation rather than volatility; we say peak positioning, peak profits, peak policy stimulus imply peak asset returns, and a trading mantra of sell-the-rip not buy-the-dip."
0938: There was a deluge of broker notes for investors to sink their teeth into on Friday.
Fidessa was lifted to 'equalweight' at Barclays, while British Airways and Iberia parent IAG was upgraded to 'hold' at HSBC day after revealing it had taken a minority stake in Norwegian, which it is considering making an offer for. Ultra Electronics meanwhile was bumped up to 'hold' at Berenberg.
Flybe was cut to 'hold' at HSBC, while Royal Mail was downgraded to 'underperform' at RBC Capital Markets and TalkTalk was cut to 'sector perform'. Lloyds was downgraded to 'hold' at HSBC and Wood Group was cut to 'equalweight' at Morgan Stanley.
Halma and Hill & Smith were initiated at 'buy' at Berenberg, while Renewi was initiated at 'hold'.
Virgin Money was started at 'hold' at HSBC.
0915: Shopping centre owner Hammerson tumbled as French real estate investment trust Klepierre said it does not intend to make an offer for the company after its second approach was rebuffed.
Klepierre said it was abandoning its pursuit "after careful consideration" as Hammerson "did not provide any meaningful engagement with respect to the increase proposal".
Stifel said that with Klepierre out of the way, it does not see a different potential bidder for Hammerson and the company is now clear to publish the shareholder documentation relating to its proposed takeover of Intu, the timetable for which has not slipped, and is still expected to complete in the fourth quarter of this year.
0847: Stocks have started the Friday 13th session higher amid more 'constructive' talk on the global trade front and despite ongoing strength in Sterling.
However, traders will continue to monitor the situation around Syria, against which backdrop shares of Chemring (near technical resistance) and Ultra Electronics are making early gains on Friday.
On the downside on the FTSE 350, Sage, Hammerson and Telecom Plus are all experiencing heavy selling.
Speaking overnight, the US president appears to have indicated that his administration's opposition to the TPP trade deal may have decreased, saying it might sign-up.
Trump also sounded a positive note on the state of ongoing negotiations with China.
Still ahead for later in the day are quarterly updates from Citigroup and JP Morgan, alongside a preliminary reading on US consumer confidence for April out of the University of Michigan.