* RBS falls after finance director leaves
* Mining stocks impacted after Australian peer slumps
* Fed tapering uncertainty continues to weigh on market
* FTSE may re-test May highs at end 2013 -Securequity
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, Dec 11 Britain's benchmark equity index
failed to make much headway on Wednesday, as weaker bank and
mining stocks pegged back the stock market.
Some traders added that lingering uncertainty over when the
U.S. Federal Reserve may start to scale back economic stimulus
measures would also weigh on equities this month, causing
investors to trim equity holdings to cash in gains on the rally
so far this year.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index was flat at 6,523.64
points in early session trading.
Part-nationalised bank Royal Bank of Scotland was
the worst-performing FTSE 100 stock as it fell by 1.8 percent
after its finance director Nathan Bostock resigned to join rival
Major mining stocks such as BHP Billiton
and Rio Tinto were another major drag on the market
after Australian peer Oz Minerals slumped after issuing
a disappointing outlook for its flagship mine.
Securequity sales trader Jawaid Afsar said the broader FTSE
100 would not make much headway until the U.S. Federal Reserve
meeting on Dec. 17-18 is over, due to some speculation the Fed
may start to taper its economic stimulus programme this month.
"The market is hesitant ahead of that meeting. Once that is
out of the way, I see the market rallying back and we may
re-test the May highs by the end of the year," he said.
Although the FTSE 100 remains up by around 11 percent since
the start of 2013, it has failed to break above a 13-year peak
of 6,875.62 points reached in late May this year.
IPR Capital director Steven Mayne said the fact that some
investors would now be looking to sell equities in order to book
profits on the rally this year, rather than buy up new
positions, would peg back the market for rest of 2013.
"With the uncertainty in America, people are taking a little
bit off the table to cash in some profits," said Mayne.