* Fall in mining stocks take most points off FTSE 100
* Concerns over China economy weigh on mining shares
* FTSE 100 flat, stalling after recent rally
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, May 30 (Reuters) – A drop in major mining stocks weighed on Britain’s blue-chip equity index on Friday, undermining the market’s attempts to break new ground and hit record highs.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index, which earlier this month hit a peak of 6,894.88 points that marked its highest level since December 1999, was flat at 6,873.27 points mid-way through the trading session.
Mining (LSE: MIR.L – news) stocks such as Anglo American (LSE: AAL.L – news) and Rio Tinto (Xetra: 855018 – news) dominated the FTSE’s loserboard of worst-performing shares and took the most points off the index, after new worries surfaced about China’s economy.
China is the world’s biggest metals consumer and mining stocks are particularly sensitive to the state of its economy.
Beaufort Securities sales trader Basil Petrides said weak iron ore prices – currently on a record losing streak – would also weigh on the mining sector.
“I’m a seller of the miners on rallies. There’s a huge global glut of iron ore in the market,” said Petrides.
The FTSE 100 remains up by around 2 percent since the start of 2014, but has so far failed to breach the 6,900 point level.
While many traders expect the FTSE to get past this level and hit a record of 7,000 points later this year, they expected the market to flatline in the near-term.
“A recent slowdown in trade direction has created a choppy sideways market, and the FTSE seems to be losing momentum,” said JNF Capital trader Rick Jones. (Additional reporting by Tricia Wright; Editing by Catherine Evans)