The FTSE 100 fell by midday Friday, as investors consolidated gains after a near 3 percent rise in the previous session on relief after Europe agreed a plan to deal with its debt crisis.
Investors locking in their profits early is a positive sign and what we now need to see is investors using these gains as a platform to encourage more share demand and push prices higher, Joshua Raymond, chief market strategist at City Index, said.
With the FTSE up more than 19 percent since its year low on August 9, and nearing break-even for 2011, Raymond said profit taking could not be ignored, although there may be an element of investors not wanting to miss out on any more price surges, pushing the market on.
The UK's benchmark index <.FTSE> fell 13.47 points or 0.2 percent to 5,700.35 by 1043 GMT, albeit in choppy trade, having closed at a near three-month high Thursday after European leaders agreed a three-point plan in attempt to prevent debt contagion in the euro zone.
Previously beaten down banks <.FTNMX8350> and miners <.FTNMX1770>, which rose 7.9 and 7.5 percent, respectively, in the previous session swung to losses as investors banked profits. The sectors remain down more than 18 percent in 2011.
Energy <.FTNMX0530> stocks were the main drag on the blue chips, retreating after Thursday's surge as crude oil slipped around 1 percent.
Royal Dutch Shell
Elsewhere, International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG)
Pharma peer Shire
Wall Street futures pointed to a weaker start for U.S. equities ahead of macro economic data releases including September personal income and consumption numbers, due at 1:30 p.m., and the final reading for the Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index, scheduled for 2:55 p.m..
Investors will be looking for further bullish signs of growth in the World's biggest economy after figures released on Thursday showed the U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace in a year in the third quarter.