The FTSE 100 saw a roller coaster day, with initial falls, mid-morning rallies and a fall for tea.
At the close of business the index closed down a whisker by 0.08 per cent to 5,450.20 as falls in New York linked to Tropical Storm Fay muted traders' enthusiasm.
Heading the gains was insurer Friends Provident up 4.05 per cent, and Tullow Oil rising 4.51 per cent.
Miner Kazakhmys climbed 3.24 per cent, Rio Tinto climbed 2.69 per cent and British Land gained 2.65 per cent
London Stock Exchange Group dropped 4.79 per cent after the launch of a rival on Friday, Royal Bank of Scotland was down 4.40 per cent, ITV slipped 3.52 per cent, Enterprise Inns fell 3.46 per cent and Invensys slid 3.43 per cent.
Anthony Grech, market strategist at IG Index, said: "The FTSE 100 gained 0.5% by 14.25 as metal prices rallied and investors bought cheaper energy shares.
"The UK's leading shares index toyed with the 5500 mark in afternoon trading, but the weakening dollar and rising oil prices due to Tropical Storm Fay dragged down Wall Street and the FTSE."
He added despite the solid gains for miners, the FTSE seemed determined to finish flat as rising oil prices brought the index down this afternoon.
"Although the week is starting relatively quietly in terms of economic news, it seems the choppy theme from last week is not yet over; all eyes will be on the Bank of England's last rate-setting meeting minutes on Wednesday for any infusion of energy into the markets after today's uninspiring session," Mr Grech concluded.