Profit takers push Britain's FTSE off 5-yr peak
The FTSE 100 closed down 29.12 points, or 0.5 percent, at 6,481.50 after failing to break above its January 2008 high at around 6,534 the previous day - a level some investors were starting to see as a turning point, or "pivot".
The index's 14-day Relative Strength Index, a momentum indicator, was retreating from "overbought" territory after hitting a high last seen in early February, when it was also followed by a selloff.
These were seen as signs buying momentum was beginning to fade, leading some investors to book their profits on some of this year's strongest performers, such as security firm G4S , which retreated from all-time highs.
"We might well have seen the high for March," Andy Ash, head of sales at Monument Securities, said. "Probably we're going to have pivot."
He cited concerns about a new debt crisis in Italy, as highlighted by a weak auction on Wednesday, and difficult fiscal talks in the United States as possible catalysts for the downturn.
The health of the world's largest economy has been a key driver for the FTSE, which cut losses in afternoon trade on Wednesday after robust U.S. retail sales data.
It still underperformed its main continental peers, France's Cac and Germany's Dax, as a number of stocks started to trade without entitlement to their latest dividend, including heavyweights British American Tobacco and
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