FTSE 100 index opens up on supermarkets as share price of Tesco, Sainsbury's and Marks & Spencer rise following Morrisons results

James Nickerson
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(FILES) A view taken 16 December 2004 sh
Morrisons reported better-than-expected results today, pushing supermarket shares up (Source: Getty)

The FTSE 100 index opened higher this morning as housebuilders and supermarkets made gains.

The UK's blue-chip index rose 0.2 per cent to 5,883 points, led higher by Tesco, Sainsbury's and housebuilder Berkeley Group.

The index made gains despite continued scepticism about the state of the Chinese economy.

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Tesco led the FTSE higher, up 5.23 per cent to 153.28p per share, while Sainsbury's share price rose 3.99 per cent to 253.15p per share. Marks & Spencer was 1.42 per cent higher at 428.6p per share.

Tesco and Sainsbury's are to announce results later this week, after Morrisons posted better-than-expected Christmas results this morning. The share price of Morrisons - which was recently relegated from the FTSE 100 - soared 10 per cent on the news.

Kantar Worldpanel, the research group that gathers data on market share, also found Sainsbury’s grew sales ahead of the market and was the market share winner over Christmas.

Meanwhile, Berkeley Group, Barratt Developments and Taylor Wimpey were all towards the top end of the FTSE. Berkeley was up 2.94 per cent to 3,639.5p per share, while Barratt's share price rose 2.27 per cent to 608p and Taylor Wimpey rose 1.37 per cent to 197.45p per share. Persimmon was 1.96 per cent up at 2,029p per share.

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Meanwhile, Shire was down 1.17 per cent to 3,884p per share the day after the pharmaceutical mega-merger with Baxalta was announced.

That's despite the view of David Buik, markets commentator at Panmure Gordon, who said: "Synergistically this deal makes sense as both companies develop, manufacture and sell drugs with scarcity value. This is expected to be the first of many deals in this sector."

And miners were down once again (shock..) as fears over the state of the Chinese economy persisted. BHP was 3.43 per cent lower at 614.45p per share, while Glencore traded at 71.06p per share, a 3.31 per cent fall. Antofagasta was 3.59 per cent lower at 373.75p per share.

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