Monday, August 19 12:28:53
Britain's benchmark equity index edged lower today on a decline in major mining stocks, while persistent concerns of a reduction in U.S. economic stimulus measures also hit sentiment.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 was down by 0.2 percent, or 11.40 points lower, at 6,488.59 points in mid-session trade.
A fall in mining stocks took the most points off the index.
The FTSE 350 Mining Index shed 1.3 percent as the price of copper eased after three weeks of gains, while miner Glencore Xstrata also fell on expectations of a write-down on its assets.
The mining index remains down by nearly 14 percent since the start of 2013 due to worries over the impact of signs of an economic slowdown in China, the world's biggest metals consumer.
APS Alpha technical strategist Adrian Slack attributed the fall in mining stocks to investors booking profits on a recent rally in the sector back off lows hit earlier this year.
"The miners have had a great rally, but they've gone up too far, too fast, and people are banking some profits," he said.
The FTSE 100 raced to a 13-year high of 6,875.62 points in late May but has since slipped back, tracking a fall in global equity markets due to expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve may start to scale back economic stimulus measures next month.
The Fed's monthly bond purchases, which had pushed down bond yields and led investors to seek better returns in equities, have driven much of the global equity rally this year.
However, bond yields have risen over the last month due to growing expectations that the Fed may start to slow the pace of those bond purchases next month.
The FTSE 100 is still up 10 percent since the start of 2013.
EGR Broking managing director Kyri Kangellaris said now was a good time to sell out for a profit on that run up. (Reuters)