At the close: FTSE 100 index closes up on miners despite losses in Next and Sainsbury's

James Nickerson
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Leading UK Supermarkets Compete For Their Share Of The Market In The Run Up To Christmas
Sainsbury's share price fell on the news of a potential tie-up with Home Retail (Source: Getty)

The FTSE 100 index closed up today, outperforming other European markets, as miners made gains.

The index closed 0.72 per cent up at 6,137 points, despite losses in Next, Sainsbury's and stocks in companies with exposure to China.

Miners ended the day higher, with Glencore leading the pack and Anglo American and Rio Tinto not far behind, after having led the FTSE lower on Monday following poor data from China. Stocks rose after Chinese policymakers took steps to stabilise its markets and the price of copper rose.

Glencore rose 3.51 per cent to 88.26p per share, while Anglo American ended the session 1.93 per cent up at 283.2p per share and Rio Tinto closed 1.94 per cent higher at 1,939.5p per share.

Read more: Home Retail Group share price leaps as Sainsbury's reveals it made an offer for Argos owner

However, retailer Next fell 4.59 per cent to 6,860p per share after it reported disappointing sales in the run up to Christmas, as the warm weather took its toll alongside growing competition online.

"Holders will be happy to receive another 60p special dividend ... thanks to good cashflow, but sceptics might not like a worse net debt position and what amounts to a challenging environment in which to be a retailer," head of research at Accendo Markets Mike van Dulken said.

Sainsbury's stock was also hit after it revealed it made an offer for Home Retail Group, the owner of Argos, in November. The supermarket's stock fell 5.17 per cent to 242.1p per share on the news.

However, Home Retail Group's stock rocketed on the news, increasing 41.13 per cent to close at 139.3p per share.

Read more: Sluggish quarter for Next as warm weather deters shoppers

Shore Capital analyst Clive Black told City A.M. he “struggled to see a compelling strategic case” for a tie-up between Home Retail and Sainsbury’s.

“Homebase came out of Sainsbury’s and we much more comfortable with a tie-up with Homebase again than with Argos. Argos is subject to the vagaries of the white heat of online and therefore the case that revenue synergies are going to be generated needs to be proven and at the moment that market is on the skeptical side of this,” he said.

Meanwhile, Aberdeen Asset Management, Standard Chartered and Burberry - all companies with large operations in Asia - fell unanimously.

Aberdeen's share price fell 2.41 per cent to close at 275.2p per share, while Standard Chartered's stock closed at 532.3p per share, a 1.74 per cent fall. Burberry fell 1.67 per cent to 1,121p per share.

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