FTSE 100 hit by Scottish referendum poll uncertainty

Stock market jitters over the Scottish referendum vote today continue. British number one Andy Murra

Stock market jitters over the Scottish referendum vote today continue. British number one Andy Murray has declared his support for the Yes campaign in the independence referendum. - Credit: PA

Jitters over the result of the Scottish referendum poll continued to hinder the FTSE 100 Index despite a stronger session for other European markets.

The US Federal Reserve gave a boost to investor confidence last night by maintaining its pledge to keep interest rates low for a considerable time.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished in positive territory and the Dax and Cac40 were also higher on the continent but the FTSE 100 Index was 5.2 points lower at 6775.7 to maintain the cautious trend of recent days.

Miners were among the cheaper stocks in the top flight as Fresnillo dropped 18.25p to 779.75p and Rio Tinto eased 35p to 3204.5p.

Low-cost airline easyJet gave a boost to shareholders today by announcing it will increase the payout ratio for its full-year dividend from one third of profit after tax to 40%.

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It also said it has reached agreement with Airbus to exercise purchase rights over 27 A320 aircraft for delivery between 2015 and 2018.

Shares lifted 28p to 1366p near the top of the FTSE 100 risers board.

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Outside the top flight, shares in French Connection fell sharply despite a further narrowing in losses in the retailer’s half-year results.

It said it was on track to meet City forecasts for the full year but shares dived 9% or 6.25p to 63.75p after the loss of £3.9 million came in slightly higher than some analyst predictions.

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