* FTSE 100 index falls 0.5 percent
* Wolseley rises after update
* Caution before ECB's policy meeting
* G4S hit by new scandal
(Adds quote, fresh prices)
By Alistair Smout
EDINBURGH, June 3 Britain's top share index
edged lower in light trade on Tuesday, with most stocks falling
in thin volumes ahead of the European Central Bank's meeting
this week, while substantial buying of shares in plumbing
supplier Wolseley provided some support.
Wolseley rose 2.1 percent, to be the top FTSE 100
gainer, after it reported a 5.1 percent rise in third-quarter
like-for-like revenue and said it expected sales to grow about 4
percent in the next six months.
"With around 70 percent of its profits generated in the
U.S., the company provides a good way of playing the ongoing
recovery in housing and construction markets," Killik & Co
director of market research Paul Kavanagh said.
Trading in Wolseley shares was twice its 90-day average by
1410 GMT, and was one of only 13 FTSE 100 stocks in positive
The majority of stocks fell in trading volume of just a
third of the index's 90-day average.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index was down 0.5 percent at
6,829.75 points by 1412 GMT, not far from a 14-year high of
6,894.88 on May 15. The index is 1.7 percent below its record
high of 6,950.60 set in late 1999.
Traders said that investors were reluctant to make strong
bets one way or the other ahead of a meeting of the ECB on
Thursday. Expectations of policy action have helped to pin
shares near highs. Tuesday's unexpected euro zone price
inflation fall in May, increasing the risks of deflation, piled
on the pressure for the ECB to act at its meeting on Thursday.
"He's almost promised too much, so he'll have to deliver
something. If he doesn't, the market will tank, and if it does,
it's probably priced in," ETX Capital's head of trading, Joe
Rundle, said, referring to ECB head Mario Draghi.
The ECB is widely expected to trim its refinancing rate,
send its deposit rate into negative territory and launch a
long-term refinancing operation targeted at businesses.
Among individual losers, G4S dropped 1.6 percent
after the Financial Times reported the global security company
was under further pressure as a British government-funded
watchdog agreed to investigate its activities in Israel and the
(Additional reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Louise