* FTSE down 0.2 pct
* Worries over Ukraine weigh on global stock markets
* BP exposed through Rosneft stake
* Defensive stocks such as Sainsbury rally
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, April 14 Britain's top equity index fell
on Monday, as mounting geopolitical tensions over Ukraine
troubled investors and weighed on oil company BP and the
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index was down 0.2 percent,
or 9.55 points, at 6,552.15 points in late session trading.
A 1.2 percent fall at BP took the most points off the FTSE,
because of the company's exposure to Russia through its stake in
Russian oil producer Rosneft.
Russian financial assets were hit as Ukraine's president
threatened military action after pro-Russian separatists
occupying government buildings in the east ignored an ultimatum
"The market's a bit slack today on the back of the Ukraine
situation. The FTSE could easily go sideways over the next three
months," said Toby Campbell-Gray, head of trading at Tavira
The FTSE pared back some earlier losses as the U.S. stock
market rose following better-than-expected quarterly net profits
at Wall Street bank Citigroup.
However, investors' nervousness over the situation in
Ukraine, and the risk that it could push markets lower in coming
days, was reflected in the fact that retail and food stocks -
seen as "defensive" plays in times of uncertainty - were the
Supermarket retailer Sainsbury rose 3.6 percent to
top the FTSE's leaderboard of best-performing stocks, while
household products company Reckitt Benckiser progressed
by 2.7 percent.
"It's understandable that people are going for defensive
stocks today, given the worries that the market could fall
further in the near term," said Cavendish Asset Management fund
manager Paul Mumford.
The FTSE rose 14.4 percent in 2013 and reached a peak of
6,867.42 points in late January this year, its highest level
since early 2000.
However, concerns about Ukraine and other emerging markets
have since knocked the market off those levels, and the FTSE is
now down around 3 percent since the start of 2014.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)