The FTSE 100 stood firm over Monday, before falling at the end of the day.
The index closed down 0.75 per cent to 5,312.60 after spending much of the day hovering around its opening price and then falling a touch ahead of closing.
Over the day it was the miners that held up the index, while financial slipped away.
Antofagasta rose 7.24 per cent, Vedanta Resources climbed 4.99 per cent, Kazakhmys was up 4.68 per cent and Eurasian gained 4.55 per cent.
BP rose 5.51 per cent.
HBOS continued its poor form falling 7.33 per cent, followed by Friends Provident and Barclays down 5.21 per cent and 4.91 per cent respectively.
Packing firm Rexam dropped 5.31 per cent and British Airways was down 4.96 per cent following news from Ryanair that it may be facing only breaking even due to the high oil prices.
Tim Hughes, head of sales trading at IG Index, said: "It has been a directionless session in the UK with the FTSE 100 flipping from positive to negative and staying within the range seen on Friday.
"What could be a driver for markets over the next few days is the oil price. The slide over the last couple of weeks has seen the price drop by more than twenty dollars but there are the first signs of support emerging ahead of the $120/122 area a zone that propped the market up in June.
"If this turns out to be the case, many are expecting another run back up to the all time highs seen earlier this month a rally that will be good for the oil companies but not so good for the broader market."