The FTSE 100 was down 0.11% to 5,619.21 in a quiet start to early trading with little company news and buyers largely sitting on the sidelines.
British Telecom and Centrica led the way, gaining 2.51% to 126.40p and 2.07% to 296p respectively, while miners struggled. Xstrata, Vedanta and Kazakhmys were among the worst performers.
Kazakhmys was down 1.58% to £14.93 and Xstrata 1.47% lower to £11.75, while Rio Tinto has been cleared by an internal Chinese investigation of wrong doing over the collapse of its proposed tie-up with aluminium group Chinalco.
The investigation instead blamed naivety, poor PR and soaring metal prices for the breakdown of the deal.
In the US the Dow Jones rose 0.1%, or 12.85 points, to 10,624.69 on the strength of data showing retail sales unexpectedly gained for the second month.
National Semiconductor gained 0.3% after it reported a higher-than-expected forecast of chip sales.
In Japan the Nikkei 225 index ended on a seven week high, up 86.31 points at 10,751.26.
Shares in exporters benefited from the expectation that new measures from the Bank of Japan next week may ease monetary policy and weaken the yen.
Honda shares rose 0.9% and Nikon was up 2.4%. Shares in Fuji Heavy Industries rose 4.1% after upbeat broker comment.
Paul Bruns and Elaine Parkes
3,000 left to transfer
Record numbers of people aged 90 plus
From 3 to 10 October