Blue-chip share index extended a technical retreat into a second session on Tuesday as concerns over demand from top metals consumer China hit heavyweight miners, although some were already positioning for further gains.
Miners <.FTNMX1770>, which account for a large part of the index, fell 3.1 percent after BHP Billiton
Following metals prices into negative territory, mining rivals Rio Tinto
With news from China in focus, the immediate sector to feel the crunch is anything commodites-linked, but it's a buying opportunity, Ed Woolfitt, head of trading at Galvan, said
We'll mainly use this pullback to revisit very good positions that have done well for us, he said, citing UK-based oil explorer Tullow Oil
By 1201 GMT, The FTSE 100 <.FTSE> was down 67.73 points, or 1.1 percent, at 5,893.33, having risen nearly 6 percent since the start of the year and hitting an eight-month closing high on Friday.
With part of 2012's market rally driven by positive data from the United States, the market will look for further direction from U.S. housing figures out later, which, if better than expected, could help shares reverse some of the early losses.
The FTSE remains extremely data-sensitive, particularly from the U.S. Today's data is expected to show some bottoming out - if we see anything better than that it could lend a drive to the market, Keith Bowman, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said.
Among those to potentially get a boost from the data would be Wolseley
Wolseley is seen as a fairly core play in terms of U.S. housing and construction, although how much is priced-in already is difficult to say, he said.
The index still enjoyed strong technical support and was seen as merely experiencing a temporary pullback before heading towards last year's highs in the 6,100 region, according to broker Cheuvreux.
We do not exclude (an) addition(al) congestion phase before renewing strength towards the prior swing tops within the 6,050-6,100 target window, the broker said in a note.
The rising 50-day moving average would act as a strong support, currently at the 5,835 level.
One of the most heavily traded stocks, however, was Glencore
(Reporting by Alessandra Prentice, Additional reporting by Francesco Canepa, editing by William Hardy)