London’s leading shares index struggled to find direction today as fears for the future of the eurozone were compounded by disappointing data in the US.
The FTSE 100 Index closed 10.1 points higher at 5,483.8, after dipping in and out of the red throughout the session.
In corporate news, Sainsbury’s saw shares plunge after the supermarket chain reported a lower-than-expected 1.4% rise in like-for-like sales for the 12 weeks to June 9. Shares were 7.6p or 2.6% lower at 283.5p. Smaller rival Morrisons was another casualty, off 2.4p or 1% at 277.8p.
Advertising and marketing giant WPP was also in focus after it suffered a shareholder rebellion against executive pay. Shares in WPP fell 15p to 753p.
JD Sports Fashion, whose shares have fallen 25% over the past six months, closed 3.5p higher at 615.3p after it reported improved sales figures from its core estate.
Shares in blue chip retailer Next were higher – up 19p at £30.70 – after a positive trading update from its Spanish rival Inditex, the owner of fast fashion chain Zara.
The biggest Footsie risers were Fresnillo up 58p at £14.87, Icap ahead 7.6p at 354.1p, Randgold Resources up 120p at £58.85 and SSE ahead 28p at £13.88.
Among the biggest Footsie fallers were Xstrata down 50p at 920p, Man Group off 1.9p at 324p and Glencore down 11.9p at 355p.
Barry Shepherd, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen, noted that the day’s risers included Premier Oil, up 1.75% at 354.75p.
Fallers included engineering firm Weir Group, off 1.8% at £13.97, and FirstGroup, which closed 3.1% lower at 198.45p.