FTSE falters despite Sainsbury shining on sales update

London stocks slipped lower on opening, potentially snapping the FTSE 100's multi-session run-up to all-time closing highs as sterling suffered amid renewed Brexit fears.

Soon after the open, FTSE 100 was down 12.4 points, or 0.17%, to 7263.07, while FTSE 250 eased 35.61, or 0.19%, to 18,377.7.

Travel outfit TUI (TUI) led blue chips and several leisure outfits down with a 5.25% slide to 1128.5p. It was followed by Smurfit Kappa (SKG), lower 2% to 2061p.

Other notable fallers included utilities after Centrica (CNA), down 0.99% to 224.55p, with National Grid (NG.) easing 0.86% to 926.6p.

Several insurers and banks also figured lower, however others made gains. Several miners and oil majors were lower, too, but others eked out minor advances.

At 8.42am, WTI crude was up 0.28% to $50.96/bbl and Brent was up 0.34% to $53.82/bbl. Gold was up 0.42% to $1190.50/oz, with silver ahead and copper a slip lower.

To the upside, the story was largely retail-related. Sainsbury (SBRY) gained 6.72% to 276.2p as the market liked its sales numbers for the 15 weeks to Jan. 7. Morrisons (MRW) added 1.42% to 249.5p, while M&S (MKS) improved 1.42% to 249.5p.

Taylor Wimpey (TW.), down 0.26% to 174.45p, expects to deliver FY profitability at the upper end of market consensus, which was for EBITA between £706.4m and £755.0m.

BIGGER MOVERS

Trinity was up 310.13% to 7.69p as its shares were restored to trading on AIM after a temporary suspension. It confirmed that restructuring was now complete, and outlined three director appointments.

Cobham (COB), down 19.68% to 132.2p, says group trading profit in the unaudited draft management accounts for the year ended 31 December is £245m, below the range of £255m to £275m set out in the update of 24 October.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Foxtons (FOXT), down 9.34% to 89.75p, says total group revenue for the year ended 31 December was around £133m (2015: £150m), with revenue for the fourth quarter totalling circa £26m (2015: £35m).

Spectra Systems (SPSY), up 8.22% to 39.5p, reports that it expanded its patent estate significantly in 2016. Interserve (IRV), up 7.55% to 342p, said overall trading has remained in line with previous guidance and expectations for full-year headline results are unchanged.

President Energy (PPC), up 4.74% to 7.07p, has now entered into a contract for a workover rig in relation to the forthcoming multi-well workover campaign, the plans for which were announced at the time of the recent placing in November 2016.

Ted Baker (TED), up 4.53% to 2769p, announces a 17.9% increase in retail sales for the 8-week period from 13 November 2016 to 7 January 2017 (the "period"), compared to the same period last year. It sees its FY results in line with its views.

ITM Power (ITM), up 4.09% to 22.38p, has announced the sale of a €0.7 million electrolyser system to a global speciality gas company by competitive tender. Joules (JOUL), up 2.74% to 225p, reports a strong performance over the Christmas period with total retail sales up 22.8% against the comparable period a year ago.

Caledonia Mining (CMCL), up 3.07% to 117.5p, reports record quarterly and annual gold production from its 49% owned subsidiary, the Blanket Gold Mine in Zimbabwe, for the quarter and year ended 31 December.

Page Group (PAGE), up 3.69% to 407.5p, said, in a trading update, that FY gross profit was up 3.0% to £621.1m in what was a record year for the outfit. For Q4, gross profit was up 3.8% to £163.4m.

Other stocks in the news included Ariana Resources (AAU), ValiRx (VAL), Vectura (VEC), Liontrust Asset Management (LIO), National Express (NEX), Capital & Regional (CAL), Sigma Capital (SGM), Saga (SAGA), CLS (CLI), Morses Club (MCL), Inchcape (INCH), Segro (SGRO), Shoe Zone (SHOE), ServicePower (SVR), Physiomics (PYC) and Cineworld (CINE).