The country's top share index was a touch lower at midday Monday, led by miners and banks, as renewed concerns on economic growth in China helped cool investor bullishness.
The FTSE 100 <.FTSE> index was down 11.28 points, or 0.2 percent, at 5,876.13 by 1213 GMT, having traded around 30 percent of its 90-day volume average.
China, the world's second-biggest economy and top metals consumer, published weak export data over the weekend and said copper imports were surprisingly strong in February, damping demand hopes and weighing on London's heavyweight mining shares.
The mining sector index <.FTNMX1770> was down 0.7 percent, led by Vedanta Resources
Equity markets are doing a lateral correction. There should still be some upside into the second quarter, but the big move is done, said Cheuvreux's head of economy and strategy, Christopher Potts.
I guess we have got about another 5 percent left in Europe before the current wave of equity advance is done. It is going to be more tedious, with more frequent bouts of profit-taking. In short, it is the phase of distribution.
Britain's blue-chip gauge has risen more than 5 percent in the year to date, having recovered most of last year's losses.
Banks <.FTNMX8350> were down 0.9 percent, knocking 92 points off the blue-chip index.
Denting sentiment on the sector was a report in the Daily Telegraph suggesting that all of UK's major banks could face an inquiry for allegedly mis-selling complex interest rate derivatives.
They also fell prey to profit takers watching the technical charts after failing to close above the 23.6 percent retracement of the February 21 to March 6 move at the end of a three day-run on Friday.
Hedge fund firm Man Group
Cruise operator Carnival
Whilst demand is recovering slowly following the Costa Concordia tragedy and fuel price increases remain a drag, we believe the medium-term outlook for improved earnings and ROIC (return on invested capital) is encouraging, Numis said.
Car and plane parts manufacturer GKN
(Editing by Will Waterman)