London Market Report

  • 21 July 2014
  • From the section Business

(Close): Shares in Tesco rose 1% after the supermarket announced that its chief executive, Philip Clarke, would leave in October.

The rise came despite Tesco also saying that first half sales and trading profits were below expectations.

But shares in Tesco's rivals came under pressure, with Morrisons down 2.3% and Sainsbury's 2% lower.

A late in the day rally saw the benchmark FTSE 100 index close off the days lows at 6,735, down 0.2%.

Analysts are also watching for the next move by western nations as they pressure Russia over the loss of a Malaysian Airlines flight over Ukraine, thought to have been shot down by pro-Russian separatists.

"Heightened geopolitical tension is part of the reason for the sell-off today. After a good short-term rally, investors have become cautious as there is a lot of uncertainty," James Butterfill, global equity strategist at Coutts, said.

Tobacco shares lost ground following news that a US court had ordered RJ Reynolds Tobacco to pay $23.6bn (£13.8bn) to the wife of a smoker who died of lung cancer.

British American Tobacco fell 0.7% and Imperial Tobacco dropped 1.4%.

Shares in BSkyB fell 1.5% after it announced it had bought a 70% stake in Love Productions, the independent production company behind series such as Great British Bake-off and Benefits Street.

Shares in housebuilders took a hit after property website Rightmove said house prices were down 0.8% this month, the first fall seen this year. Barratt Developments fell 2.3% and Persimmon was down 2.5%.

On the currency markets, the pound fell 0.17% against the dollar to $1.7059, and slipped 0.16% against the euro to 1.2613 euros.