* FTSE 100 index falls 0.3 percent
* Miners top sectoral fallers, retailers down
* SABMiller shares fall after sales data
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, April 15 Britain's top share index edged
down in cautious trading on Tuesday, led down by miners on
concerns about rising supply and slowing demand for metals, with
poor retail sales data also weighing on the market.
The UK mining index fell 1.2 percent, the
biggest sectoral decliner, as prices of major industrial metals
fell 0.6 to 2.8 percent. Copper fell further on worries that
increased supplies and slowing growth in China would hurt demand
in the world's biggest metals-consuming country.
The mining index was led lower by global miner Rio Tinto
, which fell 1.6 percent after saying its iron ore
shipments fell 8 percent in the first-quarter due to disruptions
in Australia and Canada.
The FTSE 100 index was down 0.3 percent at 6,565.84
points by 0817 GMT, also pressured by weaker retail stocks after
data showing UK retail sales took their biggest fall last month
since April 2013, hurt by unfavourable year-on-year comparisons
due to the late timing of Easter this year.
J. Sainsbury, Morrison Supermarkets, Tesco
and Kingfisher fell 0.5 to 1.7 percent.
"The retail sales figures are not as bad as they seem, but
investors are cautious. In the near term, we are going to see a
crab-like movement in the market," David Battersby, investment
manager at Redmayne-Bentley, said.
He said the market could get some direction in the third
quarter by when the Ukrainian situation would probably
stabilise, traders were back from summer holidays and people
would have a better idea about the policies of central banks.
Investors remained wary of developments in Ukraine, where
pro-Russian separatists occupied more buildings in the eastern
part of the country and ignored an ultimatum to leave government
offices they had taken over. The European Union has agreed to
step up sanctions against Russia.
The market is also keeping a close eye on corporate earnings
"We caution against having all Easter eggs in one basket
with big guns - Bank of America, Goldman Sachs
and Morgan Stanley - still to report (this week). If they
can please investors, financials could help reignite positive
sentiment," said Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo
Among other sharp moves, brewer SABMiller was one of
the biggest fallers, dropping 1.9 percent after disappointing
full-year sales, triggering profit-taking on a stock that trades
at a premium to all its peers.
However, Aggreko, the world's biggest temporary
power provider, bucked the trend and rose 2.6 percent after
posting a 5 percent rise in group revenue in the first quarter
of the year and saying it expected to meet expectations for