Britain's FTSE drops on Syria concerns, energy stocks buck trend
* FTSE falls 0.4 percent
* Broad-based sell-off as oil price spikes
* Energy stocks provide support to the market
* Charts point to resistance at 6,500
By Alistair Smout
LONDON, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Britain's top share index fell on Wednesday in a broad-based sell-off, pressured by uncertainty ahead of possible military action against Syria, but with energy stocks supporting the market after an oil price spike.
The FTSE 100 was down 26.46 points, or 0.4 percent, at 6,414.51 points by 1048 GMT, as the United States and its allies appeared to be gearing up for a strike against Syria, fuelling concerns about Middle Eastern crude supply and pushing oil prices up to multi-month highs.
Falls were seen across the board, with the rising oil price increasing costs for companies in a still-fragile economy. Airlines easyJet and IAG were left nursing drops of 4.5 percent and 6.2 percent.
"There's a general risk-off feel at the moment, and little is being spared," Ioan Smith, managing director at KCG said, adding that investors were taking money off the table heading into month-end.
"Moving forward there's not just Syria but with possible tapering at the next Fed meeting and the German election in September, so people are stepping aside or buying protection."
The exception was in energy stocks, where the oil price rise provided a boost. Heavyweights BP and Royal Dutch Shell were among the top FTSE 100 risers, with respective gains of 1.1 percent and 2.2 percent.
The FTSE 100 has fallen some 3 percent since mid-August, hit by concerns over a reduction in U.S. monetary stimulus and the threat of a military attack on Syria, and is just 0.2 percent off setting a two-month low.
Later on Wednesday, Mark Carney is expected to use his first setpiece speech as Bank of England governor to take on doubters who question how long he can keep interest rates at a record low to help the UK economy continue its recovery.
GFT Markets technical analyst Fawad Razaqzada was cautious about the UK benchmark, which failed to break above key resistance at 6,500 last week.
"Until this is put right, the path of least resistance remains on the downside".
He said the index looks like it is heading towards last week's low of around 6,386 and a break below this level would expose the 200-day moving average, now at 6,313.
Stocks trading without the attraction of their latest dividend, including CRH, Glencore Xstrata and Legal & General, took 2.3 points off the FTSE 100 on Wednesday. (Additional reporting by Tricia Wright; editing by Stephen Nisbet)
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