FTSE falls for fourth day, banks energy fall

* FTSE 100 down 0.1 percent

* Banks retreat after sharp falls last week

* Energy stocks hit by BP oil spill

By Simon Falush

LONDON, May 24 (BestGrowthStock) – Britain’s top share index fell on
Monday morning, down for a fourth session, weighed as BP (BP.L: )
dragged energy stocks down while banks retreated from early
gains, hurt by lingering anxiety about the euro zone debt
crisis.

By 0852 GMT the FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) was 7.65 points or 0.1
percent lower at 5,055.28 after it ended 0.2 percent lower on
Friday, having fallen below 5,000 for the first time since
November.

Banks, which saw some of the heaviest losses last week, were
again under pressure as news that the Bank of Spain was taking
control of savings bank CajaSur, snuffing out hopes that the
euro zone debt crisis was at last being resolved.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: ), Barclays (BARC.L: ), HSBC
(HSBA.L: ), Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: ) and Lloyds Banking
Group (LLOY.L: ) fell 0.1 to 1 percent.

“Until we see EU leaders singing from the same hymn sheet
there’s going to be turmoil,” said David Buik, partner at BGC
Partners. “We really need some strong leadership in Europe, and
we’re not seeing it.”

The FTSE 100 index is still down more than 13 percent since
fears escalated about the euro zone sovereign debt crisis in
mid-April, and is down 6.6 percent so far this year after a 22
percent gain in 2009.

Energy stocks were in retreat despite firmer a crude price
(CLc1: ) as an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico soured sentiment on
the sector.

BP (BP.L: ) was down 2 percent after U.S. President Barack
Obama dispatched two Cabinet secretaries to the fouled Gulf
Coast on Monday to keep pressure on the energy giant to plug an
undersea oil leak that threatens an ecological disaster.

Peer Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: ) fell 1.2 percent while Cairn
Energy was down 2 percent.

CUTS COMING

British finance minister George Osborne told the BBC he
would announce spending cuts worth 6 billion pounds ($8.68
billion) off the budget deficit this year by cutting wasteful
spending and imposing a recruitment freeze across the civil
service. [ID:nLDE64M0FG]

This pressured shares in Capita (CPI.L: ) and Serco Group
(SRP.L: ), off 2.1 and 0.6 percent respectively as investors
worried about the UK government renegotiating terms of
government contracts.

Travel firms Thomas Cook (TCG.L: ) and Tui Travel (TT.L: )
gained 1.2 and 1.4 percent respectively with traders saying that
they are benefiting from the chaos caused by striking staff at
British Airways (BAY.L: ), as travellers are forced to make
alternative plans.

British Airways managed to climb 1.3 percent, even as its
cabin crew began a new strike after weekend talks to try to
resolve a long-running dispute over wages, job cuts and working
conditions broke down in acrimony.

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Latest wrapup on the euro zone debt crisis: [ID:nLDE64N05B]
Graphic on the euro zone debt: http://link.reuters.com/fyw72j
For related news stories: [ID:nLDE64I0RB]
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Stock Market Investing
(Editing by Sharon Lindores)

FTSE falls for fourth day, banks energy fall