* London stock market closed on Monday
* FTSE 100 down 0.1 pct, falls off 3-week highs
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, Aug 22 Britain's top equity index
slipped off three-week highs on Friday, with mining stocks among
the worst performers as weak metals prices weighed on the
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index was down by 0.1
percent, or 8.29 points, at 6,769.37 points going into the close
of trading. The London stock market is closed for a public
holiday on Monday.
Gold and silver miner Fresnillo was the
worst-performing FTSE 100 stock in percentage terms, falling 2
percent as the price of gold remained stuck near a
Traders pointed to a dovish tone in a speech on Friday by
U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as limiting the stock
Yellen said the Fed should move cautiously in determining
when interest rates should rise.
Nevertheless, equity traders remained on the backfoot, with
tensions in Ukraine - where Kiev said Moscow sent a convoy of
aid trucks into eastern Ukraine without its consent - also
weighing on stock markets.
The FTSE 100 hit a peak of 6,894.88 points in mid-May, its
highest level since December 1999, but the market has since
given up much of that ground due partly to worries over
conflicts in Ukraine and also in Iraq.
Basil Petrides, sales trader at Beaufort Securities, said
investors could be tempted to sell out and book profits if the
FTSE could not break above previous highs in the 6,830-6,890
points range set in the last two months.
"If it does not take out those previous highs, then it could
lead to a minor pullback," he said.
Others were a bit more positive on the FTSE's prospects,
with the UK stock market buoyed by Britain's gradual economic
recovery and a pick-up in corporate takeover activity.
Carlo Alberto de Casa, senior market analyst at online
brokerage ActivTrades, said the FTSE could climb to 6,825-6,830
points if it broke above the 6,785 point level.
"The longer-term trend still looks positive," he said.
(Additional reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Mark Heinrich
and Susan Fenton)