UK stocks : FTSE 100 down 0.05 pct
"We may well see 6,000 in front of the expiry tomorrow morning," Choudhry said. "And if it doesn't happen tomorrow we may well get there next week."
From a technical view point, the FTSE still faces a few hurdles en route to 6,000, namely the 2012 closing high of 5,965.58 - which it has tested in the past two sessions - and this year's intraday peak of 5,989.07, both set in March.
"With each and every setback ending at higher levels than the preceding ones the market keeps the upward pressure intact," technical strategists at SEB said in a note.
Low volumes added to the jittery trading, taking some conviction out of the rally. Average daily volumes traded on the FTSE so far this month are down by a third compared to the same period last year, according to Reuters calculations.
Engineer Weir Group added 2.8 percent as investors cheered its acquisition of U.S. oil equipment firm Mathena as it looks to increase exposure to the rapidly growing shale oil and gas markets.
UBS said the acquisition could boost Weir's earnings by about 5 percent, and potentially more. "The deal looks very attractive if Weir have timed their purchase right," UBS analysts said in a note.
On the down side, shares in Carnival dropped 6.1 percent in afternoon trade, after it sounded a cautious note on its 2013 outlook. The world's largest cruise operator said advance bookings for
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