Markets: retail stocks boost FTSE 100

  • FTSE 100 up 0.9% to 6,804
  • Gold down 0.32% to $1,154.86/oz
  • £/$ – 1.4829

The FTSE 100 made some good gains yesterday as retail stocks buoyed the market. The index rose 0.9% to close at 6,804.

Sainsbury’s was the day’s top performer, climbing 3.7% ahead of today’s results. Tesco also added 3.7%, while Kingfisher and Next gained 3.5% and 2.8% respectively.

In European markets, the Paris CAC 40 rose 1% to 5,061, and the German Xetra Dax added 2.2% to 12,167.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.3% to 17,977, the S&P 500 added 1.4% to 2,081, and the Nasdaq Composite was 1.2% higher at 4,929.

Overnight in Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 1% to 19,437, and the broader Topix index rose 0.8% to 1,570. And in China, the Shanghai Composite rose 1.6% to 3,502, and the CSI 300 added 1.4% to 3,757.

Brent spot was trading at $53.58 early today, and in New York, crude oil was at $43.34. Spot gold was trading at $1,154 an ounce, silver was at $15.59 and platinum was at $1,100.

In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.4792 and against the euro at 1.3960. The dollar was trading at 0.9437 against the euro and 121.36 against the Japanese yen.

And today, Sainsbury’s reported a fall in sales for the fifth quarter in a row. Like-for-like sales excluding fuel fell by 1.9% in the fourth quarter. Chief executive Mike Coupe said the market would remain “challenging”, with food prices likely to keep on falling for the rest of the year. Despite the fall, shares were up by 2% in early trading.

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