* FTSE 100 flat in morning trade
* Prudential offers biggest boost after Asia plans
* Technical support cluster seen capping any
By Toni Vorobyova
LONDON, Dec 10 Britain's top share index
steadied on Tuesday, propped up by a cluster of technical
support levels and a string of upbeat corporate reports from the
likes of Tui Travel and Prudential.
Broad macro concerns, however, kept a lid on the market's
gains, with several Federal Reserve members overnight backing
the scaling back of equity-friendly stimulus as soon as next
St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard, who
is sometimes seen as a bellwether for U.S. monetary policy ,
unexpectedly voiced support for a "small taper". Two of his
colleagues, meanwhile, said the risks of continued super-easy
monetary policy exceed the benefits.
"People are being a bit more cautious, no one is really
taking big positions. After a bit of a bounce on Friday we have
come to a point where people are very reluctant to sell out
given the historical Santa (Christmas) rally, but they are also
reluctant to buy given the Fed meeting next week," said Jonathan
Roy, sales trader at London Stone Securities.
"I think they (the Fed) are preparing the markets for the
situation when they do taper, but whether it happens in December
or not remains to be seen."
The FTSE 100 was steady at 6,561.48 points by 0835 GMT,
having started the session slightly lower.
On the upside, Prudential, up 0.9 percent, offered the
biggest points boost to the FTSE 100 after the British based
life group has set new growth objectives driven by its Asian
"We applaud these targets, which, on first viewing, appear
pretty stretching and aggressive. To us, they are a sign of the
drive and determination of the group's management to deliver
real value for shareholders...again," analysts at Shore Capital
said in a note.
Investors also welcomed forecast-beating results from the
tour operator TUI Travel, and news that Lloyds Banking Group
has raised 680 million pounds ($1.11 billion) from the
sale of its remaining 21 percent stake in wealth manager St
Technical charts, meanwhile, were another source of support.
"There are a number of significant support levels just below
the market which should prevent further weakness and allow bulls
to gain traction," said Ed Blake, technical analyst at Informa
Global Markets, highlighting a cluster of trendlines and
Fibonacci numbers from 6,485.00 to 6,435.61 points.
"In terms of resistance, the first significant level is the
Nov. 13 former low at 6613.98 points."