London shares opened steady on Friday, supported by gains in state-rescued Royal Bank of Scotland after the lender reported "pleasing progress" in the latest quarter.
The benchmark FTSE 100 index eased 13.55 points or 0.24 percent to 5,753.00 at 8.36 am.
RBS shares climbed 1.75 percent to 24.98 pence, topping the leader board, boosted by comments from chief executive Stephen Hester, who said: "The start of 2012 has shown pleasing progress at RBS within the context of a flat economic environment."
"Excellent progress continues in removing 'mistakes' of the past. Non-core assets have fallen, again. Liquidity is stronger, again. Next week the bank will repay the last of the UK government-backed funding support we received during the crisis."
The bank posted RBS first quarter operating profit of £1.18 billion, though it registered a net loss of £1.52 billion , almost three times the amount posted a year earlier.
Overall, investers remain nervous ahead of closely watched US non farm payroll figures later in the day, at the end of a week that has provided mixed signals on the global economy.
"As concern over US growth robustness is intensifying, the jobs number will provide further clues for assessing the US outlook and the (Federal Reserve's) stance," said Kintai Cheung, strategist at Credit Agricole, in a note.
Source: AFP European Edition