The FTSE 100 Index saw its four-day winning streak come to an end yesterday after £1bn was wiped off the value of Tesco.

The supermarket group saw its shares fall by four per cent as concerns over the impact of higher energy costs on the business cast a shadow over an 18.7 per cent rise in half-year profits.

With rivals such as Morrisons and Sainsbury's also caught in a wave of selling by investors, the Footsie closed 13.3 points lower at 5416.4.

Investors in the grocery sector had already been given food for thought by official data showing the biggest monthly fall in food sales for two years in August.

But the unusually cautious comments from Tesco were harder to stomach and led many shareholders to scale back their investment in the stock.

Tesco declined 13p to 313.5p on a day when Morrisons lost 4.25p to 178p and Sainsbury's weakened 8p to 275.5p.

A clutch of other retailers also lost out as broker Lehman Brothers issued a downbeat note about the sector. Fallers included Argos owner GUS, off 11p to 863p, Next losing 13p to 1413p and B&Q owner Kingfisher, down 3p to 227p.

However, oil explorer Cairn Energy provided some cheer after an upbeat set of results sent its shares to an all-time high.

Cairn was the highest top-flight climber, advancing five per cent or 95p to 2009p after raising its estimates on the amount of oil in place at three key oilfields in India and revealing half-year profits rose to £31.3m against £30.9m last time.

A clutch of mining stocks followed Cairn on the risers board, with Anglo American adding 37p to 1601p and Antofagasta rising 10p to 1525p.

Imperial Tobacco also featured among the top-flight risers, climbing 13p to 1557p, after saying trading for the full year was in line with expectations. Rival Gallaher advanced 11p to 888p.

However, oil firms Royal Dutch Shell and BP lost ground as the price of a barrel of oil fell back towards the $66 mark. BP, the Footsie's biggest stock, declined by 4p to 661p, while Shell eased a penny to 1915p.

Outside the top flight, Regent Inns cheered seven per cent or 6.5p to 100p after using its full-year results to provide further evidence that the business had stabilised and sales growth was continuing.

But online gaming firms Empire Online and Sportingbet suffered their second significant reverses in as many weeks after it was revealed that takeover talks between the pair had ended.

Sportingbet, which was considering making an offer for its rival, fell five per cent or 17p to 326.5p whereas Empire lost one-fifth of its value to close 51.5p lower at 202.5p.

The highest Footsie risers today were Cairn Energy up 95p to 2009p, Anglo American adding 37p to 1601p, O2 up 2.75p to 156.5p and Standard Chartered adding 21p to 1208p.

The heaviest fallers were Tesco down 13p to 313.5p, Sainsbury's off 8p to 275.5p, Morrisons losing 4.25p to 178p and BOC Group down 23p to 1134p