London - Britain's top shares edged lower on Friday, pressured by mining stocks as an impasse over the US budget continued to take its toll on investor sentiment.
In quiet early trading, mid-cap stock retailer Carpetright was a big faller, off 9.5 percent after a profit warning.
The FTSE 100 was down 12.22 points, or 0.2 percent at 6,436.81 points by 10:14 SA time, with miners off 0.8 percent as risk-averse investors sold cyclical shares.
The Congressional stalemate over the US budget, which has led to a partial US government shutdown, continued on Friday with little sign of progress toward a solution.
President Barack Obama met Republican and Democrat leaders in Congress on Thursday but reiterated in a speech that he would not give in to Republican demands to roll back his healthcare programme in exchange for reopening the government.
The shutdown led to a delay in Friday's scheduled release of the closely-watched non-farm payrolls data. In early exchanges, the impact of the postponement was unclear, traders said.
The UK benchmark index has proved relatively resilient in the face of the US concerns, down 1.2 percent this week.
But given an October 17 deadline to raise the US debt ceiling, analysts reckon the market could start to sell off more significantly if the deadlock continues much longer.
“If no agreement has been reached by this time next week the likelihood is that the FTSE will be quite a bit lower.” Charles Stanley technical analyst Bill McNamara said.
His initial target is around 6,386, a low hit earlier in the week. - Reuters