At the close: FTSE 100 closes marginally up despite losses from Sainsbury, housebuilders and miners

 
James Nickerson
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Sainsbury's share price fell over seven per cent on Wednesday (Source: Getty)
he FTSE 100 rose marginally on Wednesday, despite by falls in Supermarkets, miners and housebuilders.


The UK's top blue-chip index rose 0.35 per cent to 6,297 points.

The largest casualty, by some way, was Sainsbury, which today reported profits had slumped 18 per cent and slashed its interim dividend by a third. Sainsbury's group sales were down two per cent to £13.6bn for the 28 weeks to 26 September, while retail sales were down 0.1 per cent excluding fuel. Like-for-likes dropped 1.6 per cent.

Sainsbury's share price ended the session 7.08 per cent down at 253.3p per share. "Despite all the positive talk about strategy delivery, Sainsbury continues to lose sales and market share and reduce margins thereby reducing return on capital. Sainsbury expects the tough background to be maintained through the second half so respite is still some way off," said David Stoddart, analyst at Edison Investment Research.

Read more: Sophos's share price surges on positive full year outlook

The second biggest loser on the FTSE 100 was SSE as the company announced pre-tax profits had jumped, but announced the outlook was "challenging" due to low commodity prices and the UK's energy policy. SSE's adjusted profit before tax rose by 48.2 per cent to £548.8m for the six months ending 30 September. SSE's share price fell 3.22 per cent to 1,444p per share.

"Although SSE maintained targeted earnings per share in the 2016 financial year, we see some downside risks as management tone was cautious in our view, citing that it is subjected to significant uncertainties," said Jia Neoh, an analyst at S&P.

Read more: FTSE 100 index closes slightly down on miners

Meanwhile, miners continued to act as a drag on the index, with BHP Billiton and Glencore, Rio Tinto and Fresnillo shares all closing down. BHP Billiton's share price closed 2.41 per cent down at 923.7p per share, while Glencore's share price fell 1.14 per cent down at 105.05p per share.

Rio Tinto and Fresnillo's stock fell 0.5 per cent to 2,307p per share and 0.43 per cent to 688.5p per share respectively.

Housebuilders also weighed on the FTSE 100. Barratt Developments' stock fell 1.3 per cent to 565p per share. Persimmon closed 0.96 per cent down at 1,857p per share, while Taylor Wimpey also closed 0.44 per cent down at 179p per share.

However, the FTSE 100 was led higher by gains in other companies. SABMiller's share price rose 1.86 per cent to 4,050p per share after it was announced that a £70bn merger with AB InBev, and that it will de-list from the London Stock Exchange after having completed the deal.

Experian also rallied, closing 2.27 per cent up at 1,214p per share. "Experian's results are better than expected, indicating resilience in many of its business lines and geographies," said Gary Paulin, co-founder of brokerage Aviate Global.

In the FTSE 250 TalkTalk surged 13.11 per cent to 246p per share after the company estimated that the massive cyber attack against it in October has cost it £35m, but the firm has surprised shareholders by raising its dividend.

Meanwhile, Sophos' stock also today after upgrading its full year outlook when it posted its results. Sophos ended the day 8.94 per cent up at 274.3p per share.

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