London Report: Lower crude prices pull FTSE down but Morrison’s gets lift

BRITAIN’S top shares yesterday inched lower on Tuesday as energy stocks weakened and investors bet on whether Scotland would vote to leave the United Kingdom in the 18 September referendum.

But stocks showed little reaction to comments by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, who suggested the bank might start to raise interest rates next spring.

The FTSE 100 closed down 5.77 points, or 0.1 per cent, at 6,829.00 points.

Major energy stocks dragged the market lower, with Royal Dutch Shell down 1 per cent to 2,412.50p, BG Group 0.5 per cent lower at 1,202.50p, and BP down 0.4 per cent to 466.85p, as the price of Brent crude eased for a fourth straight day.

Troubled retailer Morrisons ended 3.1 per cent higher at 175.30p after Citigroup upgraded its rating to “buy” from “neutral”, arguing that the grocer's dividend looked safe.

Back-to-school wear and autumn collections helped to lift Marks & Spencer 1.33 per cent to 433.80p and Next 0.35 per cent to 7,145p.