* FTSE 100 closes up 0.3 pct at 6,807.75 points
* GKN surges on higher profits and dividend
* Next rises after increasing earnings guidance
* BP falls, warns of impact from Russia sanctions
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, July 29 Britain's top equity index edged
up on Tuesday, lifted by gains at fashion chain Next and
at car and plane parts maker GKN after strong results
and outlook comments.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed up 0.3 percent,
or 19.68 points, at 6,807.75 points.
GKN surged 6.7 percent after posting higher profits and
raising its dividend, while Next rose 2.6 percent after a strong
second quarter prompted it to boost its earnings guidance.
"In both cases, good numbers," said Patrick Butler, chief
executive at London-based Prime Wealth Group, which had
recommended GKN as its tip for August.
"Next has come out with another stunning set of numbers and
sales are higher than anticipated," he added.
The FTSE 100 reached a peak of 6,894.88 points in mid-May,
which marked its highest level since December 1999, and came
close to that level again in early July.
However, it has given up some of that ground as conflict
between Kiev's forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern
Ukraine has escalated.
The shooting down of a Malaysian passenger plane over
rebel-held territory in Ukraine on July 17, killing 298 people,
has also heightened tensions between Western powers and Russia.
European Union governments reached a deal on Tuesday to
impose economic sanctions against Russia, targeting its oil
industry, defence, dual-use goods and sensitive technologies.
Shares in oil major BP fell 2.5 percent after BP
posted higher profits but warned further Western sanctions on
Russia could harm its business there and its relationship with
Russian state oil company Rosneft.
Hantec Markets analyst Richard Perry said the uncertain
geopolitical outlook was holding back equity markets, even
though there were signs that company profits were improving.
"Investors are still fairly cautious about Ukraine and
Russia. There's no real drive to push equities higher," he said.
(Additional reporting by Francesco Canepa; Editing by Hugh