UK equities continued to lose steam following a strong rally in early January as cautious investors booked profits amid speculation of end to a long running bull run.
Subdued commodity prices weighed on the mining sector. Randgold Resources (RRS) cheapened 2.2% to £70.76 and Fresnillo (FRES) dropped 1.1% to £13.75.
Other fallers included cigarette firm Imperial Brands (IMB) and National Grid (NG.).
The FTSE 100 closed 0.3% lower at 7,700.
Brent crude oil slipped 0.1% to $69.31 per barrel and gold fell 0.7% to $1,328 per ounce.
US stocks lost momentum following a strong run on the back of tech stocks yesterday. The Dow Jones traded 0.5% lower at 25,973 around 4:45pm UK time.
MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
Primark owner Associated British Foods (ABF) revealed record sales at the discount clothing retailer and maintained full year earnings guidance. Shares in the firm fell 3.6% to £27.55.
Costa Coffee owner Whitbread (WTB) needed a boost as like-for-like sales at the coffee chain fell 1.5% in the 13 weeks to 30 November. Media reports resurfaced that investor Sachem Head had asked Whitbread to consider a breaking up the business, helping the shares rise 3.4% to £39.88.
GKN (GKN) said Melrose (MRO) was misleading with its takeover offer, saying the bid was at a 'fake premium.' GKN has rejected two buyout offers in the last week from Melrose.
Parcels delivery service Royal Mail (RMG) reported an increase in sales, driven by higher parcel volumes and its international division. The strong trading did little to alleviate concerns over the balance sheet, pension scheme issues and ability to maintain dividends as the stock nudged 0.8% lower to 463.2p.
Experian (EXPN) delivered a 5% increase in third quarter organic sales and expects mid-single digit organic growth for the full year. This failed to impress with the shares retreating 1% to £16.45.
Infrastructure group Balfour Beatty (BBY) gained 1.6% to 295.6p after announcing US tax reforms will cut its tax rate this year and boost the value of its investments portfolio by £95m.
A positive production update at Evraz (EVR) lifted the shares 4.1% to 388.4p.
Lower full year sales in the US at brick maker Ibstock (IBST) weighed on the shares, which were down 2.1% at 257.2p.
SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
Countrywide (CWD) plummeted 18.6% to 110p after warning it will miss sales and earnings forecasts. The property services company said expected earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation was anticipated to fall from £72m to £65m due to disappointing trading in sales and lettings.
Investors were expecting the worst at EMIS (EMIS). The NHS IT systems provider revealed delivery and service level failures on EMIS Web Suite, triggering a 20.3% crash to 767p.