“The FTSE100 opened in positive territory following muted trading in the US and Asia,” says AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould.
“Supermarket giant Tesco was the biggest blue-chip faller despite record Christmas sales. Tesco’s like-for-like sales in the UK were up by 1.9% in the third quarter driven by a 3.4% rise in food sales. This was slightly below market forecasts with the performance hindered by logistics issues after its tobacco supplier Palmer & Harvey went into administration. But Tesco will be encouraged by its biggest ever week of sales in the key Christmas week when fresh food outperformance was nearly 4%. Tesco’s shares were down by more than 3.7% in early trading.
“Marks & Spencer’s shares were down after a 1.4% drop in UK like-for-like sales in the Christmas quarter. Clothing and home sales were down 2.8% while food sales, which have increasingly underpinned M&S’s performance in recent years, fell by 0.4%. The group’s shares were down by over 1.9%.
“Card Factory’s shares tumbled after it warned that the prospects for earnings growth were likely to be limited. The combined impact of foreign exchange and wage inflation in the 2019 financial year is expected to result in £7m-£8m of additional costs. The sales performance over the Christmas period at gettingpersonal.co.uk, its online personalised gifting business, was disappointing. Card Factory’s shares fell by more than 20.6%.”
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