UK shares higher at midday ahead of U.S. jobs data

* FTSE up 0.5 percent

* U.S. non-farm payrolls due at 1230 GMT

* REITs slip after Goldman Sachs cuts ratings

By David Brett

LONDON, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Britain's top stock index was higher at midday on Friday, helped by rebounding commodity stocks that helped outpace falls in real estate firms and retailers, with key U.S. jobs data due.

London's blue-chip FTSE 100 index

was up 27.21 points, or 0.5 percent to 5,854.99 by 1027 GMT.

The market remained confined to a 200-point range established since markets peaked in early September after a summer rally fuelled by central bank stimulus.

"We are in this range for the short-term ... There is a flight to safety going on with oil and gold climbing again with uncertainty over the euro, Spain and the U.S. elections hanging over sentiment," Shore Capital director Rupert Armitage said.

The FTSE 100 was helped by a firm finish overnight in Asia, while early indications were for U.S. equities to open higher after employment data in the form of non-farm payrolls - the most important monthly release globally and due at 1230 GMT.

Employers were forecast to have added 113,000 jobs in September, up from 96,000 in August, and with the unemployment rate edging up to 8.2 percent, a Reuters poll found.

London-listed miners rose, with a sector index

up 1.5 percent, leading the broader market higher.

Mining stocks have underperformed in 2012, down 7.6 percent compared with a 4.6 percent rise for the FTSE 100.

Integrated oils

, which have also lagged this year, climbed 0.5 percent as the oil price continued to recover from as yet unexplained recent flash falls.


The British real estate sector underperformed after Goldman Sachs downgraded three major stocks to "neutral" from "buy" after recent share price outperformance.

"We believe positive catalysts (both at the macro and micro level) have passed or faded for now," Goldman analysts said in a note in which they downgraded British Land

, Great Portland and Land Securities .

Shares in the three firms fell up to 1.2 percent.

Forward 12-month earnings forecasts for major REITs have been cut around 0.5 percent over the past 30 days, according to Starmine.

Retailers took a knock too with Tesco

, down 1.8 percent and the top faller on the index. Analysts have been cutting their forecasts on Britain's biggest retailer following poor first-half results on Wednesday.

"It was a case of bad update at the wrong time for Tesco and it has just taken a little bit of steam out of the retailers," a London-based trader said.

Some profit was banked in High street fashion retailer Next

, down 1.2 percent. The company remains the darling of investors, up 30 percent in 2012, who like it for its thriving online and catalogue business.

(Editing by Dan Lalor) ((

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