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Market Wrap - Midday

Difficult UK retail environment weighs on Marks & Spencer

11 July 2017 11:58

The UK retail sector remained tough for Marks & Spencer (MKS). Shares in the company dipped 4.2% to 324.8p after like-for-like sales fell.

This had a negative read across for its rival Next (NXT), which ticked 1.6% lower to £36.35.

And Primark owner Associated British Foods (ABF) weighed on the FTSE 100 as the shares declined 2.4% to £28.96.

Spirits company Diageo (DGE) was also 1.1% down at £22.57.

In the three months to June, food sales rose 3.6% on a like-for-like basis, which was the strongest three-month average since early 2012 according to the British Retail Consortium.

Brent crude oil slipped 0.9% to $46.45 per barrel. Gold nudged 0.3% down to $1,208 per ounce.

Gold was flat at $5,820 per tonne.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

Investors anticipated a surge in sales ahead of today's Amazon Prime promotional event.

Amazon rallied 1.8% to 996.4p, helping the tech-heavy Nasdaq index of which it is a constituent close 0.4% up at 2,427 overnight.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

Pearson (PSON) said it would sell a 22% stake in Penguin Random House to its partner Bertelsmann for $1bn. The stock declined 5.8% to 650.5p on the news.

TUI AG (TUI) sold its stake in container shipping company Hapag-Lloyd for €244.4m, although the share price was broadly unmoved at £11.40.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

Building materials distributor Grafton (GFTU) was 1.5% higher at 719p after the firm performed better than expected in its first quarter.

In the housebuilding sector, Galliford Try (GFRD) rallied 8.2% to £12.63 after management said full year profit was anticipated to be at the upper end of analysts' expectations.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Investors were pleased with progress at Gocompare.com (GOCO). The company reported better-than-expected margins in the first half of 2017, prompting the shares to rise 4% to 108p.

Over a third of Israeli tailor Bagir's (BAGR) value was wiped off after it warned that first half revenues and earnings would be below forecasts thanks to slower progress on developing new production lines in Vietnam and Ethiopia.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: MKS

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