Profit-taking pares earlier gains

BRITAIN’S leading share index beat a retreat yesterday, falling back after strong US data led gains on Monday as investors awaited more clues to the state of the world’s biggest economy.

The FTSE 100 index closed down 36.55 points, or 0.6 per cent at 5,838.34 after recording its biggest daily rise in two months on Monday.

“[Yesterday’s] session can be summed up as a mild bout of profit taking which was understandable considering that the FTSE has rallied almost two percent in as many days,” said Angus Campbell, Head of Market Analysis at Capital Spreads.

After Monday’s above-forecast US manufacturing data, February factory orders were a touch below estimates, although they still saw a rebound from a decline in the previous month.

Weaker energy stocks were the biggest drag on the blue chips, with the sector tracking easier crude prices after gains in the previous session. Miners similarly tracked lower with easier copper prices as Monday’s gains were pared back.

And banks, which also led the leap higher on Monday, were weak as well.