* FTSE 100 index down 0.2 percent
* Miners track weaker metals
* Weir gets Citi upgrade boost
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, July 7 Britain's top share index edged
lower on Monday, with weaker metals prices prompting investors
to take some money off the table after a strong rally in the
The UK mining index fell 1 percent, the top
sectoral decliner on the blue-chip FTSE 100 index, after
key metals prices fell ahead of a slew of company results and
following comments from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
IMF chief Christine Lagarde said on Sunday that global
economic activity should strengthen in the second half of the
year and accelerate in 2015, although momentum could be weaker
than expected, hinting at a slight cut in the Fund's growth
"The IMF's comments are weighing on miners as investors are
taking that as an excuse to take some profits after strong gains
in the recent days," IG analyst Chris Beauchamp said.
Miners were led lower by Antofagasta, which fell
1.8 percent to become the worst performer on the FTSE 100 index.
The benchmark FTSE index was down 0.2 percent at 6,851.37 points
by 1109 GMT after posting its best weekly gain since early May.
Monday's sell-off was led by cyclical sectors, with the UK
banking index falling 0.4 percent and the mobile
telcom index down 0.6 percent.
However, losses were capped by a rally in engineering group
Weir, which rose 1.9 percent to the top of the FTSE
gainers list after Citi upgraded its rating to "buy" from
"neutral", calling its oil and gas opportunities
Despite some weakness in the broader market, traders and
technical analysts said the slight market pull-back could prove
to be short-lived.
"We had a good week last week - it's understandable that
people are taking a little bit of money off the table, but the
underlying market seems to be relatively robust," Manoj Ladwa,
head of trading at TJM Partners, said.
"We're still seeing buyers come into the market, albeit in a
small way given that we're in that summer period,"
Charles Stanley technical analyst Bill McNamara said that
while the index has been struggling to break above 6,900 points
since the start of the year, it is still displaying strong
"The broader technical picture is suggesting that a test of
the 1999 all-time (closing) high, at 6,930, might not be too far
away now," he said.
The sector has been volatile in recent weeks, having sold
off in mid-June on prospects of a UK rate hike, only to recover
towards the end of the month when the Bank of England's curbs on
house prices proved less draconian than had been feared.
(Additional reporting by Tricia Wright; Editing by Toby Chopra)