Sterling turned in a downcast Friday performance as it slipped on most key pairs, with global markets drifting as US President Donald Trump's Healthcare Bill goes to a congressional vote, and ahead of UK formally beginning its EU-exit talks next week.
Orders for goods meant to last more than three years jumped in February on the back of a large increase in those for civilian aircraft.
French National Front leader Marine Le Pen has urged the international community to lift sanctions placed on Russia after its annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Equities in London spent most of the session adrift with a slightly negative bias ahead of the US congressional vote on President Donald Trump's Healthcare Bill, with little in the way of domestic corporate or economic news to provide firm direction.
Crude-oil futures traded essentially sideways ahead of Opec's meeting on Sunday, with traders already nervous about the global glut of the black liquid looking for a further production-cut pledge from the cartel.
Striking workers at BHP Billiton's Escondida mine in Chile agreed to end their 43-day industrial action on Thursday, but management are reportedly unhappy and analysts were unimpressed.
Leaders of the US House of Representatives put on ice plans for a vote on Thursday night on President Trump's proposal to repeal Obamacare.
A top US rate-setter said the median expectation from policymakers for a total of three to four interest rate hikes in 2017 would make sense if the economy continued progressing as expected.