Barclays was the big faller of the day after the banking giant posted a worse-than-expected 32 per cent fall in 2013 adjusted pre-tax profit, with costs coming in higher than predicted. The group also unveiled its plan to cut between 10,000 and 12,000 job this year, 7,000 of which will be in the UK.
Supermarkets Tesco, Sainsbury and Morrison were all lower after retail data revealed the grocery market had fallen to its slowest pace since 2005, hit by an improved performance by their competitors at either end of the market. The figures also revealed discount chains Aldi and Lidl had increased their sales by 32% and 17.2%, respectively, for the three months ended February 2nd, while Morrison declined by 2.5% and Tesco fell 0.4%.
RSA Insurance and Aviva shares
declined as storms continued to hit parts of the UK, with investors fearing the companies will face a huge number of pay-outs to repair the damage caused by the ongoing bad weather.
Coca-Cola HBC fell after Nomura cut its target price from 600p to 580p and stayed with its reduce rating.
Meanwhile, shares in Fresnillo jumped after the precious metals miner announced the decision by the district court to deny the request by the Ejido El Bajío to prevent the lifting of the explosives permit covering its Herradura and Soledad mines. Fresnillo said it would present the decision before the Mexican Ministry of Defense (MOD) as additional support for the lifting of the suspension of explosives.
Non-food retailers were performing well after the UK retail sector registered healthy growth in January, according to figures released this morning by British Retail Consortium (BRC), which showed that like-for-like retail sales rose by 3.9% last month. Sports Direct, Kingfisher and Marks & Spencer were all sitting comfortably near the top of the leaderboard.
Engineering group Babcock International rose strongly after it said that third-quarter trading saw high activity levels in all divisions, helped by the improving economic climate.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Babcock International Group (BAB) 1,392.00p +3.73%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 707.00p +3.21%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,340.00p +2.76%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 482.60p +2.62%
Kingfisher (KGF) 374.00p +2.44%
William Hill (WMH) 351.50p +2.42%
Amec (AMEC) 1,099.00p +2.42%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,270.00p +2.30%
Prudential (PRU) 1,306.00p +2.19%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,423.00p +2.15%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Barclays (BARC) 262.80p -4.44%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 99.65p -2.78%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 346.90p -2.61%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 235.90p -1.83%
Tesco (TSCO) 319.10p -1.42%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,580.00p -1.31%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 892.00p -0.61%
Aviva (AV.) 454.00p -0.42%
Carnival (CCL) 2,527.00p -0.39%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,803.00p -0.25%