Business

FTSE 100 down as Tesco and Unilever are hit by price row

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Shares in Tesco and Unilever finished down after the two companies became embroiled in a dispute over pricing.

Tesco has stopped selling dozens of Unilever's goods online - including brands such as Marmite and PG Tips.

The row is said to have developed when Unilever - which says it faces higher costs because of the fall in sterling - attempted to increase wholesale prices.

By the close, shares in Tesco were down more than 2% while Unilever shares fell 3.4%.

The benchmark FTSE 100 index closed down 46.27 points at 6,977.74. Shares in Rio Tinto fell 4.8% and BHP Billiton slid 4.4% after Citi cut its rating on both of the mining companies to "sell" from "neutral".

But there was better news for housebuilders. Persimmon shares rose 1.9% and Barratt Developments gained 1.9% after the latest survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors suggested demand from house buyers had seen a modest recovery.

The pound remained under pressure on the currency markets as worries over the UK's Brexit strategy persisted.

Against the dollar, the pound was 0.3% lower at $1.2204, and 0.3% lower against the euro at €1.1055.

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