London Report: FTSE falls as tobacco stocks are burned by $23.6bn US fine

BRITAIN’S top share index fell yesterday, with tobacco stocks hit by a multi-billion-dollar fine against RJ Reynolds in the United States and retailers slipping after a profit warning from Tesco.

The prospect of further sanctions by the West against Russia over last week’s downing of an airliner over Ukraine also discouraged investors from making big bets, analysts said.

Britain warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that the Russian economy would face further sanctions unless Moscow cooperated in providing full access to the Malaysia Airlines crash site and stopped stoking instability in Ukraine.

The FTSE 100 index ended 0.3 per cent lower at 6,728.44 points, with tobacco stocks, retailers and energy shares among the top decliners. A 0.9 per cent fall in British American Tobacco and a 1.5 per cent drop in Imperial Tobacco were the biggest fallers, after a Florida jury imposed punitive damages of $23.6bn (£13.8bn) against RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company.

UK retailers also fell after a profit warning by Tesco.

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