* FTSE 100 index closes 0.2 percent lower
* Mining shares fall on growth concerns
* Iraq tensions prompt investors to stay cautious
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, June 24 Britain's top share index
slipped slightly on Tuesday, led lower by mining stocks, as
signs of economic weakness in the region and growing tension in
Iraq made investors cautious.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index ended down 0.2 percent
at 6,787.07 points. It has been trading in a tight 60-point
range for almost a week against a range of about 150 points
earlier this month.
The UK mining index, down 0.8 percent, was the
biggest sectoral faller on concerns about economic growth in the
region as Germany's Ifo index of business sentiment fell in June
to its lowest this year.
The tense situation in Iraq also made investors cautious as
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held crisis talks with
leaders of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.
"Geopolitical concerns and Britain's monetary policy outlook
are making people nervous, but I think the market wants to go
higher and we are witnessing a short-term pullback," IG analyst
Chris Beauchamp said.
Comments by Bank of England officials also prompted
investors to trade cautiously at a time when the market lacked
strong catalysts to break the current trading range.
BoE Governor Mark Carney, speaking to lawmakers, pushed back
slightly against expectations that the bank will raise interest
rates before the end of the year, saying Britain's economy still
has plenty of slack to work through.
But BoE Deputy Governor Charlie Bean said Britain was
gradually moving towards the point of tighter monetary policy,
although the timing would depend on how the economy progresses
"The central bank is trying to manage expectations and
remind investors and consumers that interest rates can't stay at
these low levels for longer," Keith Bowman, equity analyst at
Hargreaves Lansdown, said.
"The market is lacking catalysts to make a decisive move up
or down. However, the second-quarter results season could
provide some direction to the market, with investors' focus seen
shifting to company revenues and forward guidance."
(Additional reporting by Alistair Smout in Edinburgh; Editing
by Susan Fenton)