Construction and housing stocks were hit by cautious comments from analysts on Wednesday, while miners were dampened by concerns over growth targets from top metals consumer China.
Credit Suisse weighed on sentiment in the housebuilding sector today after downgrading its rating for the category from 'overweight' to 'market weight', telling investors that it is time to take profits.
"To be absolutely clear we are not calling the top of the UK housing cycle, rather we are calling the top of the equity story, as we believe current valuations already factor in substantial future growth in the next two years," said Research Analyst Harry Goad.
Credit Suisse cut its recommendations for Barratt Developments, Bellway, Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey from 'outperform' to 'neutral', causing share prices
Building materials firm CRH fell in sympathy, along with construction equipment rental group Ashtead.
Investors in the mining sector, meanwhile, were underwhelmed by growth forecasts from the Chinese government, which expects the global powerhouse to grow by 7.5% this year.
"On face value China re-affirming a 7.5% growth target should be good news on recent form, but analysts have cast doubt over whether that is achievable given leadership goals of curbing credit and pollution concerns, and it looks like the much debated economic reform is trying to tick a few too many boxes," said Toby Morris, Senior Sales Trader at CMC Markets.
Mining stocks such as Polymetal, Kazakhmys and Fresnillo were trading in the red. Heavyweights Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton were also providing a drag on the sector after going ex-dividend today.
Shares in Strategic Natural Resources lost almost a fifth of their value after the AIM-listed natural resources developer admitted a creditor of 74%-owned Elitheni had begun legal proceedings to repossess rented containers. The group also revealed it continued to receive pressure from some of its own creditors as it sought to find a viable funding solution.
Top performing sectors so far today
Insurance (non-life) 1,876.63 +1.75%
Tobacco 37,783.50 +1.11%
Automobiles & Parts 9,448.12 +0.32%
Industrial Metals & Mining 893.47 +0.18%
Food & Drug Retailers 4,355.79 +0.16%
Bottom performing sectors so far today
Construction & Materials 4,792.61 -2.46%
Household Goods & Home Construction 11,771.59 -1.67%
Mining 16,935.33 -1.64%
Industrial Engineering 10,933.81 -1.48%
Banks 4,594.94 -0.91%