Leading share index eased in choppy trading on Wednesday, with heavyweight miners and banks under pressure after a downwards revision to fourth-quarter 2011 GDP added to concerns over the global economy.
The Office for National Statistics said the economy contracted by 0.3 percent between October and December last year, taking the annual rate of growth to 0.5 percent.
Economists had expected unrevised readings of -0.2 percent quarter-on-quarter and 0.7 percent year-on-year.
It's a marginal disappointment that the figures have been revised down for Q4 very slightly, although to a certain extent that's been balanced out by an upward revision to Q3 figures, said Philip Shaw, chief economist for Investec Securities.
Obviously what's more important is what happens to GDP over the first three months of this year .... We don't think the headline GDP figures tell us very much about where we're going, Shaw added.
Banks <.FTNMX8350> were big blue chip fallers, having been strong gainers in the previous session, as investors shunned risk-sensitive stocks, with Barclays
Insurers also suffered, although also weighed down by ex-dividend factors, with both RSA Insurance
News of the second biggest ever annual loss at the Lloyd's of London
At 1043 GMT the FTSE 100 <.FTSE> was down 9.72 points, or 0.2 percent at 5,859.83, extending Tuesday's 0.6 percent decline and putting the index on track to snap a three-month winning streak in March.
Overall ex-dividend considerations accounted for around five points of the FTSE 100 index's decline, with fund manager Schroders
The FTSE 100 is looking to be getting range-bound again, around 5,830-5,5850 or so, with the index a bit stuck at the moment and little in the short-term to push it one way or another ahead of the quarter-end, said David Morrison, market strategist at GFT Global.
Miners <.FTNMX1770> were the biggest sectorial drag on the blue chips, tracking falls in the copper price as the demand picture for metals was clouded by the UK GDP data and by some recent disappointing U.S. data.
U.S. consumer confidence numbers came in below expectations on Tuesday, and investors will look to February U.S. durable goods orders, due at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, to provide further clues as to the health of the world's biggest economy.
Ahead of that data, U.S. stock index futures pointed to modest gains on Wall Street on Wednesday, recovering after falls in the previous session.
Drugmakers provided the biggest underlying boost for the blue chips as investors' risk appetite faded and the spotlight shone back on defensively-perceived stocks, with Shire
Among other defensive stocks seeing good demand, Associated British Foods
(Editing by Jodie Ginsberg)