* FTSE 100 index trades flat
* Volumes low as U.S. market shut for holiday
* Miners under pressure as metals prices fall
By Tricia Wright
LONDON, July 4 Britain's top share index traded
around three-week highs on Friday, although mining stocks
retreated following a decline in metals prices after recent
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index headed for its best
weekly gains since early May as strong U.S. economic data raised
expectations that the world's biggest economy was on a recovery
The FTSE 100 index was flat at 6,867.89 points by 1058 GMT.
It was up 1.6 percent this week, the best weekly gain in almost
But the British mining index fell 0.2 percent
as copper prices dropped 0.2 percent and nickel
slipped 0.7 percent.
"After having a good run, miners are under some pressure due
to weaker metals and as some investors are taking profits,"
David Battersby, investment manager at Redmayne-Bentley, said.
"The market is showing a lack of direction as the U.S.
market is closed and there are some discouraging reports related
to Sports Direct."
Sports Direct fell 1.5 percent after a report in
Britain's Guardian newspaper said leading investors in the
company will vote against the re-election of the chairman and
other board members at September's annual general meeting in
protest at the multi-million pound bonus scheme its founder Mike
Ashley. Sports Direct declined to comment to the paper.
Investors avoided strong bets on the last trading day of the
week and as the U.S. market was closed for a holiday. Trading
volumes were low, with the FTSE 100 witnessing about 16 percent
of its 90-day daily average volume by mid-session.
"Trading activity is expected to be rather subdued today
with very little data out in Europe and U.S. markets closed for
Independence Day," Markus Huber, senior analyst at Peregrine &
Black, said in a note.
"While sentiment remains positive, it wouldn't come as too
much of a surprise if (there was) a little bit of profit-taking.
Stocks had a good week so far and taking a bit of money off the
table might not be a bad idea."
On the positive side, budget airliner easyJet rose
1.9 percent, the best gainer in the FTSE 100 index, after
reporting a 10 percent jump in its passenger numbers in June
from the same month of the previous year.
(Reporting by Tricia Wright and Atul Prakash; Editing by Toby