* FTSE 100 index gains 0.2 percent
* Index recovers after dipping twice below the 6,100 level
* Burberry leads gainers after strong revenue growth
* Miners reverse early gains; Anglo sees renewed SA unrest
By Alistair Smout
LONDON, Jan 15 British blue-chip stocks edged up
on Tuesday after a choppy day as the index managed to
consolidate above 6,100 despite testing support with concerns
weighing over the U.S. debt ceiling and growth in Europe.
The FTSE 100 twice dipped below the 6,100 level, but
recovered both times following weakness in early and midday
The index closed up 9.45 points, or 0.2 percent, at
6,117.31, having been down as much as 0.4 percent, but was still
0.3 percent lower than the new 4-1/2 year high of 6,133.41
posted in Monday's trade.
"The FTSE 100 index has pushed above the previous high area
around 6,105 - the 2011 high - calling for further advance,"
Nicolas Suiffet, technical analyst at Trading Central, said.
"Despite the positive weekly indicators, the momentum seems
to fade away and a consolidation could occur in the short term
ahead of a new up-leg."
Burberry Group led blue chip gainers, adding 4.6
percent after the British luxury brand posted a 9 percent rise
in third-quarter underlying revenue.
"Given the concerns surrounding the brand since the profit
warning, this acceleration should support sentiment in the
shares," BofA ML said in a note, raising its rating to 'buy'
from 'neutral', and upgrading its earnings forecasts by up to 4
Tuesday's share price hike in early trade has restored
Burberry to levels last seen in September, just before it shed
over 20 percent after issuing a profit warning.
Despite trading at a relatively high forward 12-month
price-to-earnings multiple of 17.9, top-rated analysts in the
sector expect Burberry to post a positive earnings surprise of
1.6 percent over the next 12-months, second only to Swiss
watch-maker Swatch among peers, according to Thomson
Reuters Starmine data.
Despite the broader index's gains, made as the final deals
of the day were finalised, miners reversed early strength to
close 0.4 percent lower.
Sentiment was hit as the German economy shrank by 0.5
percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, contracting more than at
any point in nearly three years as traditionally strong exports
and investment slowed.
"The growth worries are creeping back in, especially with
Germany's GDP figures today," Mike Ingram, analyst at BGC
Partners, said, adding that he thought bullishness on equities
could be maintained for the first half of the year before
weighing more substantively in the latter half.
"I still think there's a positive tone ... but the
continuous commentary on the debt ceiling is also unsettling
things, and it does look as though Obama is being quite
combative on this," Ingram added.
On Monday, President Barack Obama rejected any negotiations
with Republicans over raising the U.S. borrowing limit, accusing
his opponents of trying to extract a ransom for not ruining the
economy in the latest fiscal fight.
The row over the debt ceiling helped to take the copper
price to two-week lows, affecting miners.
Anglo American led the sector lower, losing 3.7
percent after plans for its platinum arm to shed 14,000
jobs in South Africa were met with threats of strike action,
risking a repeat of last year's violent unrest.
(Additional reporting by David Brett; editing by Stephen