Britain's top shares were lower today, as weakness in banks sparked by euro zone debt worries outpaced strength in commodities following weekend comments by Ben Bernanke, which boosted hopes of more quantitative easing.

The FTSE 100 was down 13.11 points at 5,732.21, having ended down 0.4 percent at 5,745.32 on Friday after downbeat U.S. non farm payroll figures in the U.S.

Responding to the disappointing jobs data, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told the '60 minutes' television programme at the weekend that the central bank could end up buying more than the $600 billion in U.S. government bonds it has committed to purchase if the economy failed to respond or unemployment stayed too high. "Bernanke's comments suggest that QE3 is a possibility," Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown, said.

"We're still switching between risk on and risk off with investors itching to take profits as soon as the market gains some ground."

Global miner Xstrata rose 2.3 percent on newspaper reports Glencore, the world's biggest commodity trader which holds a stake of nearly 35 percent in Xstrata, is preparing for a 6.3 billion pound ($9.94 billion) London Stock Exchange debut as early as April next year.

Platinum processor Johnson Matthey added 0.9 percent as Goldman Sachs upgraded its rating to "buy" from "neutral", saying it is benefiting from higher platinum prices. Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto was down 0.1 percent after it made a $3.5 billion bid approach for Africa-focused Riversdale Mining.


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