UK stocks : FTSE 100 drops 0.2 pct
At the close, the FTSE 100 was down by 10.07 points, or 0.2 percent lower, at 6,318.19 points, with the materials sector - which includes commodity-related stocks such as miners - taking 6.6 points off the index.
The session was a quiet one, with the U.S. equity market closed for the Presidents' Day holiday. Only half of the average 90-day volume was traded across the index as a whole.
Lawmakers in the United States are on holiday this week, leaving four days for members of Congress to negotiate a deal to avoid automatic budget cuts due to kick in at the beginning of March, which could crimp demand in the world's biggest economy, and impact company earnings.
However, despite the session's falls, the FTSE did not test support at the 6,300 level, indicating that there was still good underlying strength in the index.
After the best January since 1989, the FTSE has traded sideways this month, dipping below 6,300 for over a week in early February. The index has held up above that level since it passed it again last Tuesday.
"The recent rally has faded, and we've seen a consolidation, although the FTSE has stayed fairly strong," Sokou said.
"It's good that we're back above 6,300 and have held that."
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