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Vodafone and AMEC push down Britain's FTSE

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

* FTSE 100 down 0.8 pct, holds above 6,300 point level

* Market rallied to 5-year high on Wednesday

* Traders see market prone to further falls this month

* AMEC slumps 6.2 pct after cautious outlook

* Vodafone drop also weighs on index

By Sudip Kar-Gupta

LONDON, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Britain's benchmark equity index fell down from five-year highs on Thursday, hit by drops at telecoms group Vodafone and engineer AMEC, and the market could dip further in coming weeks.

Several traders said they expected the index could fall by up to 200 points over the next month before resuming an upwards trajectory from late March onwards, on expectations of a gradual global economic recovery that should support equities.

The blue-chip FTSE 100, which had touched a five-year intraday high on Wednesday, was down by 0.8 percent, or 52.77 points lower, at 6,306.34 points by around midday.

"It's still looking resilient, but there are just a few signs that we might be entering a corrective phase," said Berkeley Futures associate director Richard Griffiths.

"We've had a 15 percent rally since November but we could fall by 100 to 200 points over the next month or so," he added.

Vodafone fell sharply for the second day in a row, impacted by concerns over weakness in its southern European business and the possibility that it might be lining up a pricey bid for Germany's Kabel Deutschland.

Vodafone's 2 percent fall took the most points off the FTSE 100, while AMEC slumped 6.2 percent to make it the worst-performing blue-chip stock, after AMEC's cautious outlook disappointed some investors and analysts.

"The fairly lacklustre guidance for 2013 might lead us to lower earnings estimates for the current year," Oriel Securities wrote in a research note.

Darren Easton, director of trading at Logic Investments, said he would hold "short" positions on the FTSE 100 for now to bet on future falls on the market.

Easton said some technical indicators suggested the FTSE 100 had further to fall, with FTSE charts pointing to a "head-and-shoulders" pattern - often used by traders who use technical analysis as a sign to sell an index after a recent rally.

The FTSE 100 is also falling close to its 20-day simple moving average level, which stands at around 6,270 points, and dropping below that could also be taken as a sign to sell by traders.

"For now, we're going 'short'," said Easton. (Editing by Stephem Nisbet)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130214/vodafone-and-amec-push-down-britains-ftse