Miners lead Britain's FTSE lower as Fed comes into focus
* FTSE 100 falls 0.2 percent
* Raft of U.S. data due later in session, Fed outlook dominates
* Technicals point to tight range around one month high
* Morrison gives up post results gains, broker comment mixed
By Alistair Smout
LONDON, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Britain's top share index edged away from one-month highs on Friday, with eyes on U.S. data later in the day ahead of an anticipated reining in of the Federal Reserve's programme of economic stimulus next week.
Miners fell 1.3 percent, the top sectoral faller. Gold is set for its worst week in two months and copper is at five week lows on expectations the Fed will curb the bond-buying that has spurred a flood of money into riskier assets such as equities.
Jeremy Batstone-Carr, analyst at Charles Stanley, said that he expected the U.S. central bank to slow purchases by between $10 billion and $15 billion a month, but that a recent rally on the FTSE 100 meant current market levels did not reflect the widespread expectations of such action next Wednesday.
"Recent market action has (effectively) left the Fed's tapering completely priced out of the FTSE 100, so it now appears to be being priced back in," he said.
"I think the index is running up against resistance, and will struggle to push on from here."
Although the FTSE 100 fell nearly 12 percent in just a month after Fed chairman Ben Bernanke first indicated in May that tapering was likely later in the year, the index has regained 9 percent of that drop, and is trading near one month highs.
Uncertainty over future policy was fuelled by a report in Japan's Nikkei newspaper that Larry Summers was set to be named as the new Fed chief as early as next week, instead of current Fed official Janet Yellen, seen as more of a continuation with the current regime
Credit Agricole's strategists said U.S. data out on Friday, expected to show an increase in retail sales, should underpin predictions the Fed will cut its stimulus programme at a meeting on Sept. 17-18, putting risk assets under pressure.
By 0727 GMT, the FTSE 100 was down 10.52 points, or 0.2 percent, at 6,578.46, with basic materials and energy stocks, sensitive to changes in sentiment, taking 18 points off the index.
The FTSE 100 has traded in a tight 100 point range all week, a range that is narrowing as the index gets wedged by a rising trend from the June low and a longer term downtrend from May's 13 year highs.
While eight of the top nine fallers were miners, Wm Morrison fell 1.9 percent, the second biggest faller, giving up gains made after results in the previous session. Broker comment on the company was mixed, including a downgrade from Citigroup to "sell" from "neutral". (Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Patrick Graham)
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