Instead the FTSE-100 Index struggled for momentum as it climbed just 7.5 points to 6559.5, following a boost on Friday sparked by positive US jobs data that helped the top-flight end a five-session losing streak.
But there seemed little enthusiasm for more increases, despite better-than-expected Chinese export data. Imports to the world's second biggest economy missed expectations, pushing miners near the top of the fallers' board.
Vedanta Resources, which is set to lose its blue-chip status in this month's FTSE reshuffle, was off nearly 3% or 23p to 821.5p. Fresnillo dropped 15p to 742p and Antofagasta dipped 7.5p to 761.5p.
A fall in US unemployment to a five-year low of 7% was positive enough without being so good it prompted fears of US Federal Reserve's multibillion-dollar monthly programme of quantitative easing being eased.
But it seemed that a weekend of reflection on the data allowed the familiar uncertainty over Fed "tapering" to return to the forefront of traders' minds.
New York's Dow Jones Industrial Average was also flat while markets in Europe nudged into positive territory.
On currency markets, the pound added a cent against the greenback to 1.64 US dollars while it held firm against the single currency at 1.20 euros, amid optimism about the pace of UK recovery compared to rivals.
In London, however, there was an upswing for insurer Aviva, one of the top FTSE 100 climbers after its turnaround prospects under chief executive Mark Wilson were backed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
The broker raised its target price to 550p from 475p and reiterated its buy rating on the blue-chip company, which climbed 9.5p to 428.9p.
British Airways and Iberia owner International Airlines Group was the biggest riser in the top flight, up 8.5p or 2% to 366.1p.
Exploration firm Tullow Oil moved in the opposite direction, down 30p to 869.5p after it said an onshore well in Ethiopia will be plugged and abandoned.
Royal Mail shares were up 2.5p to 597p but with its market capitalisation now near £6 billion it is certain to join the ranks of the FTSE 100 later this month.
That came as it emerged Royal Mail workers would receive a three-year pay rise worth around 9% and legally-binding employment protections under a landmark agreement that has averted strikes.
The big FTSE 100 risers in addition to International Airlines, were Aviva up 9.5p to 428.9p, Hargreaves Lansdown up 19p to 1228p and TUI Travel up 5.9p to 384p. The biggest fallers in addition to Tullow Oil were Vedanta Resources down 23p to 821.5p, Marks & Spencer down 9.7p to 461p and Fresnillo down 15p to 742p.