* Oil weighs on BP, Shell shares
* BP posts biggest profit in eight years
* Bellway eases concerns on housing demand
* FTSE 100, FTSE 250 both off 0.1%
Feb 8 (Reuters) - London stocks closed lower on Tuesday as
an early bounce in energy major BP faded with sliding oil
prices, while online supermarket Ocado tumbled following bleak
After gaining as much as 0.7% earlier in the session, the
UK's blue-chip FTSE 100 slipped 0.1%, and midcap stocks
also ended the session 0.1% lower.
Shares in BP fell 2.4% after hitting their strongest
since March 2020 earlier in the session following results that
showed its highest profit in eight years in 2021.
"An early bump to its share price couldn't be sustained, in
part because the price of a barrel of Brent Crude slipped back a
touch," said Danni Hewson, financial analyst at AJ Bell.
Rival Shell dropped 3.2%, tracking weakness in oil
prices that shed about 3% before the resumption of U.S.-Iran
talks, which could revive an international nuclear agreement and
allow more oil exports from the OPEC producer.
The biggest decliner on the FTSE was Ocado Group,
which slumped 12.9% after it warned core earnings in 2022 would
undershoot market expectations as it steps up investment in
automated warehouses around the world.
The FTSE 100 index has outperformed the wider European
STOXX 600 index so far this year, with help from more
value-oriented sectors including miners, energy stocks and
banking firms that were battered in the wake of the pandemic.
Among midcap stocks, software company Micro Focus
plunged 10.9% to the bottom of the FTSE 250 index after
reporting a fall in full-year core profit.
Bellway Plc gained 2.5% as it echoed its bigger
rivals in saying it expected strong demand in the housing market
Renewable power generator and network operator SSE Plc
slipped 0.2% despite upgrading its outlook for full-year
2021/22 adjusted earnings.
(Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Catherine Evans)