Investors remained on the sidelines today ahead of minutes from the US Federal Reserve's monthly policy meeting later in the session.
The report will offer global markets a clearer insight into when the Fed plans to taper quantitative easing (QE), with some market watchers fearing that such a move could come as soon as next month.
The FTSE 100 Index has been derailed by the QE speculation, with £60 billion wiped off the value of top flight shares since the start of August. It was 26.6 points lower at 6426.7, a fall of almost 0.5%.
Three months ago in May, the FTSE 100 reached 6840.3, its best result since the dotcom boom in December 1999.
There was little in the way of corporate news to excite traders, although Lloyds was 0.2p higher at 74p after offloading its German insurance business Heidelberger Leben in a £250 million deal.
The taxpayer-backed bank will take a £330 million loss on the transaction but the removal of the insurer from its books will boost Lloyds' capital position by £400 million.
Cooker firm Aga Rangemaster was higher, up 6.25p to 110p, as it showed signs of benefiting from the house market upturn.
Half-year operating profits were flat at £1.5 million but chief executive William McGrath said the mood among customers was better and there was a "buzz" about the company's new products.