“The blue-chip index slipped from its record high after a mixed day on 'Super Thursday' as a deluge of retail trading updates hit the market while a 0.3% rally in the pound against the US dollar to $1.22 also affected the FTSE 100's many overseas earners,” says AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould.
“Supermarket giant Tesco disappointed investors despite its eighth consecutive quarter of volume growth and a third successful Christmas. Tesco’s fresh food ranges have proved particularly popular, outperforming the market. UK like-for-like sales were up by 1.8% in the third quarter but by a more modest 0.3% in the six week Christmas period. Tesco’s shares were down by more than 2.3% in lunchtime trading.
“Housebuilder Barratt Developments was a blue-chip faller after it confirmed a slowdown in demand for £600,000-plus homes. Completions outside London have reached their highest levels in nine years and keep Barratt on track to hit full year forecasts despite headwinds in the high-end London market. Barratt’s shares were down by over 1.9%.
“Online electrical retailer AO World was one of biggest FTSE250 fallers after it flagged concerns over the uncertain economic outlook in the UK. The group’s UK business grew strongly in the third quarter against tough comparatives but currency impacts on supplier pricing and the possible effect on consumer demand has made it cautious about the final quarter. AO’s shares were down by more than 8.2%.”
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