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London markets dip as retailers give up this week’s gains


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The capital’s premier FTSE 100 index dipped 0.21 per cent to 7,535.99 points, while the domestically-focused FTSE 250 index, which is more aligned to the health of the UK economy, fell 0.25 per cent to 22,989.07 points

London markets eked marginal gains yesterday despite retailers giving up some gains registered throughout the week.

The capital’s premier FTSE 100 index closed 0.16 per cent higher at 7,563.85 points, while the domestically-focused FTSE 250 index, which is more aligned to the health of the UK economy, fell 0.38 per cent to 22,958.48 points.

Britain’s biggest retailers have been on a tear this week after a string of upbeat data revealed they had all posted robust strong Christmas trading periods.

Fashion retailers Next and JD Sports have been among the best performers on the FTSE 100 this week, driven by investors taking kindly to positive trading updates.

Meanwhile, Sainbury’s reaped the rewards of consumers splashing on luxury food items ahead of Christmas, sending its shares upwards.

However, retailers weighed on the capital’s premier index yesterday. JD Sports was the worst performer, sliding 6.41 per cent, while Next lost 4.12 per cent.

On the FTSE 250, Marks and Spencer was a downer, tumbling nearly eight per cent despite also getting in on the strong trading update action.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: “The retail sector, so far at least, seems to have done well despite Omicron, although the likes of Marks and Spencer and the supermarkets are potential beneficiaries of the fact that, with Christmas parties cancelled, more of us were entertaining at home and treating ourselves to extras like sparkling wine and posh snacks.”

The pound continued to rally against the dollar, strengthening 0.07 per cent to buy $1.3737.



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