Sterling came under fresh pressure yesterday after a new opinion poll suggested the outcome of next week’s independence referendum remains on a knife-edge.
An ICM survey at lunchtime put support for the No camp at 51 per cent, slightly ahead of Yes at 49 per cent after earlier polls showed a shift away from Monday’s surprise survey which raised the prospect of an independent Scotland.
London’s benchmark FTSE 100 share index closed 7.34 points higher at 6,806.96, having remained under pressure after the European Union said it would impose fresh sanctions on Russian companies in response to Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.
Tony Cross, market analyst at Trustnet Direct, said: “Yet again it’s been another relatively quiet day for the London index with the FTSE-100 stuck in a range of just 30 points or so during the session.”
The pound was down against the dollar, at $1.62, after it was also affected by a strong rise in US retail sales in August. Sterling fell against the euro, at €1.25.
Shares in BP, which has a near 20 per cent stake in Russia’s Rosneft, were slightly lower – off 2.1p to 470.2p – although at one stage the stock jumped as high as 494p due to what is thought to have been a mistaken trade. Supermarket chain Morrisons share rose to 179.5p, near the top of the risers’ board, before closing down 1.3p at 176.5p, as rival Sainsbury’s lifted 1.8p to 287.1p.
Barratt Developments was the biggest riser in the top flight as it continued to benefit from results earlier this week showing a doubling in full-year profits.
The stock was up 10p at 389.3p, while elsewhere in the property sector Rightmove was 15p higher at 2,336p and Persimmon added 21p to 1,369p.
NEW YORK: asasas