FTSE pushed down by Greek debt fears and grocery losses - London Report

BRITAIN’S top share index turned lower by mid-session yesterday as losses in grocers and caution before a Federal Reserve announcement later in the day weighed on the market.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 closed 0.4 per cent lower at 6,680.55 points. The FTSE, which fell to its lowest since late January on Tuesday, has lost around 5.5 per cent over the past three weeks as investors worried about a Greek default and rising borrowing costs if the Federal Reserve raises its interest rates. The Fed’s policy statement did not come out until 6pm, after the UK market closed.

Among individual stocks, supermarkets Wm Morrison, Marks and Spencer and Tesco all fell around one per cent after bearish comments on grocers by Credit Suisse.

Mid-cap housebuilder Berkeley surged 10 per cent after posting better-than-expected full-year profit. Peers Persimmon, Wolseley , CRH, Travis Perkins and Barratt Developments also outperformed.

Persimmon is up over 20 per cent since the Tories stormed back in to power in the General Election on 7 May.