Top shares fell on Thursday, dragged lower by weaker oil stocks, although a rebound in mining stocks helped limit falls.
Energy stocks <.FTNMX0530> knocked the most points off the FTSE 100 index by some margin, having touched overbought levels on Wednesday according to the relative strength index.
Royal Dutch Shell
The benchmark <.FTSE> was down 5.5 points, or 0.1 percent, at 5,939.96 by 10.21 a.m, having slipped 0.2 percent in the previous session following five successive days of gains, the longest winning streak since last summer.
Traders said the FTSE 100's failure on Wednesday to break out to the upside has led to concern the market is forming a short-term top, while low volumes do not instil much faith in the recent brisk rally, which saw the index jump to eight-month highs.
We still see downside risk and see a correction of about 5 to 10 percent, Atif Latif, director of equities and derivatives at Guardian Stockbrokers, said.
Put options have seen more volume as have shorting specific stocks and sectors and many are still taking the view that the market may look to pause for direction.
James Hyerczyk, analyst at Autochartist, said that based on the short-term range of 5,755.70 to 5,989.07, it would not be surprising to see a near-term pullback to 5,872.39 to 5,844.85.
Investors awaited U.S. weekly jobless data at 12.30 p.m, which assumes particular relevance since recent robust economic data from the world's largest economy has helped power recent stock market gains.
Andrew Bell, chief executive of Witan, a 1.1-billion-pound investment trust, reckoned equities would be higher by the end of the year but it will not be a smooth ride as economic growth is adequate rather than impressive.
I am encouraged by the weakness in gilt and treasury bond prices. These were seen as safe havens last year yet they had not reacted to better sentiment. Now their behaviour is more consistent with other signs of improved risk appetite.
Miners <.FTNMX1770>, Wednesday's biggest casualties, enjoyed a rebound, tracking a recovery in copper prices, while UK lenders <.FTNMX8350> succumbed to a bout of profit-taking, having been boosted by U.S. bank stress test results.
Shares in Hammerson were among the most heavily traded among UK blue chips, at 40 percent of the 90-day daily average volume.
(Editing by Jodie Ginsberg)