* FTSE 100 down 0.1 pct
* RBS, Lloyds weighed by Brexit jitters
* Record profit boosts Prudential to top of FTSE
* Amec Foster and Wood Group down on acquisition concerns
* SIG jumps on dividend cut, reshuffle
(Adds details, closing prices)
By Helen Reid
LONDON, March 14 British shares edged lower on
Tuesday, weighed down by banking stocks as Britain gets set to
start negotiating its departure from the European Union.
The blue-chip index closed 0.1 percent lower despite support
from the weak pound, which hit an eight-week low against the
dollar. The FTSE's foreign-currency-earning
constituents benefit when sterling dips.
Sterling's decline was a reflection of the imminent
triggering of Brexit negotiations and Scotland's call on Monday
for a second independence referendum. Britain's parliament
approved legislation on Monday to allow the country to begin
talks on leaving the European Union.
The uncertainty also prompted selling of banking stocks.
RBS was the worst-performing bank, down 2.5 percent
on the day, while Standard Chartered and Lloyds
also dropped 1 to 1.2 percent.
Analysts said the prospect of a new Scottish independence
referendum could be weighing on shares of Scotland's biggest
banks, RBS and Lloyds.
Ratings agency Fitch said Scottish independence would
increase the risks for Britain's credit rating.
Prudential was the top FTSE gainer, its shares
rising 3 percent to a two-year high after the insurer reported a
record profit for 2016, spurred by growth in its Asian business.
The more domestically focused mid-caps index hit a
record high in early trading, before turning down to close 0.4
Oil services company Wood Group gave back all its
gains from the acquisition of Amec Foster announced on
Monday, and was among worst-performing mid-cap stocks, down 6
percent, while Target Amec Foster fell 6.4 percent.
While lower crude prices were weighing on oil services
stocks, shareholders were also concerned that the deal would
reduce Wood Group's exposure to an expected medium-term rebound
in oil prices, RBC analyst Victoria McCulloch said.
Building materials supplier SIG rose 7.2 percent
after it named a new CEO and said it planned to sell assets and
review costs as it battles to recover from weak trading.
(Reporting by Helen Reid, Danilo Masoni; Editing by Larry King)