It was a torrid session for retailers on London’s top flight index today as official figures revealed a shock fall in sales last month after a snow-hit start to the year.
B&Q parent Kingfisher and Marks & Spencer were among the day’s fallers following data showing an unexpected 0.6% drop in sales volumes between December and January, confounding expectations of a bounce back.
The wider FTSE 100 Index trod water, closing 0.9 of a point higher at 6,328.3, as investors waited for news from the G20 meeting of financial ministers in Moscow.
The retail sector’s fallers were led by Tesco with a 2% drop, down 5.8p to 364.8p.
Sainsbury’s followed suit down 4.8p to 331p, while Kingfisher lost 3.1p to 272.6p and M&S dropped 2.4p to 387.1p.
Mining giant Anglo American was on the front foot after reporting better-than-expected annual underlying earnings. The group’s shares lifted 26p to £20.39.
Utility giant Severn Trent was also in the spotlight after a trading update revealed its commercial customers were continuing to use less water. Shares initially fell into the red, but later stood 5p higher at £15.84.
The biggest FTSE 100 risers were ITV up 3.6p to 117p, WPP ahead 28p to £10.47, Aggreko 39p higher at £16.80 and Intercontinental Hotels Group up 40p to £19.84.
The biggest FTSE 100 fallers were Fresnillo down 105p to £15.50, Randgold Resources off 220p to £55.80, Polymetal International 24.5p lower at 997.5p and Tate & Lyle down 17.5p to 784p.
Mark Ireland, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Inverness, noted that the day’s risers included Havelock Europa, up 10.5% at 15.8p, Menzies gaining 2.9% to 719p and Devro up 2.7% at 379.1p.
Fallers included Johnston Press falling 1.9% to 12.8p, Faroe Petroleum off 1.8% at 140p and AMEC down a further 1.5% at £10.26.