Supermarket group Sainsbury’s was in the doldrums again today as the London market continued to feel the impact of yesterday’s retail reporting frenzy.
The stock, which lost 2% of its market value after slipping 3% yesterday, was joined in the red by rival supermarket Morrisons and clothing chain Next.
It came as the FTSE 100 Index lost 34.4 points to 5700.7 by mid-morning as a disappointing session in New York last night rubbed off on the mood in London.
Broker downgrades and mounting concerns over the deteriorating situation in Iran led to the worst session of the year in the United States, leaving the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq both off by more than 0.5%.
In London, Sainsbury’s was the second-heaviest top flight faler as the better-than-expected sales figures of yesterday continued to be overshadowed by fears over stronger competition and the impact of rising costs. Shares were 6p lower at 307.75p.
Other fallers in the retail sector included Next, losing 28p to 1706p, B&Q owner Kingfisher down 4p to230p and Morrisons off 2.75p to 195.75p.
But they were all beaten to the top of the fallers board by Shire Pharmaceuticals, which lost some of the ground gained after a positive broker note yesterday. Shire weakened 3% or 25.5p to 825p today.
Outside the top flight, Northern Foods shares slumped 10% or 16.5p to 147.5p after it warned that annual profits would be lower than last year. The company blamed rising fuel costs and price cuts for the disappointment.
Waterstone’s owner HMV continued to struggle, down 13.75p to 164.75p, after yesterday’s warning that Christmas sales had been disappointing.
And pubs and nightclub operator Ultimate Leisure fell 6p to 245p as it issued a profits warning after “difficult” trading over the Christmas and New Year period.