* FTSE 100 index closes 0.6 pct lower
* Miners track weaker metals prices
* Engineering group Weir gets Citi upgrade boost
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, July 7 Britain's top share index
retreated from a three-week high on Monday on concerns about the
pace of global economic growth, with cyclical sectors such as
miners and banks worst hit.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index ended 0.6 percent lower
at 6,823.51 points after climbing to its highest since early
June in the previous session. The index gained 1.6 percent last
week, its best weekly performance since May.
But investors cut their equities trading positions on Monday
after data showed German industrial output fell 1.8 percent on
the month in May, the biggest drop in more than two years.
"The market appears to be in a consolidation phase as
weaker-than-expected economic numbers from Germany have raised
some concerns regarding the strength and sustainability of the
recovery in Europe," HSBC equity strategist Robert Parkes said.
Miners featured among the top decliners, with weaker metals
prices and concerns about global growth prompting investors to
take some money off the table after a recent rally.
IMF chief Christine Lagarde said on Sunday that global
economic activity should strengthen in the second half of the
year and accelerate in 2015, but 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 recent days," IG analyst Chris Beauchamp said.
The UK mining index fell 0.6 percent. Other
cyclical sectors also drew selling, with the UK banking index
falling 0.8 percent and the mobile telecom index
down 0.7 percent.
Despite the weakness in the broader market, analysts said
the market pullback could prove to be short-lived.
Charles Stanley technical analyst Bill McNamara said that
while the FTSE 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.
Among individual stock movers, Tullow Oil fell 3.1
percent to the bottom of the FTSE 100 index, with traders
attributing the share decline to fresh violence in Uganda that
created uncertainty over Tullow's operations in the country.
Uganda's army said it had killed more than 60 gunmen who
attacked police and army posts in the west on Saturday, while
extra troops had been deployed to restore security in an area
near the country's new oil fields.
(Additional reporting by Tricia Wright; Editing by Toby Chopra
and Susan Fenton)