FTSE 100 index closes flat on last day of the month as supermarkets come into focus

 
James Nickerson
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Tesco was one of today's biggest fallers (Source: Getty)

The FTSE 100 index closed slightly higher on the quiet last day of the month after the G20 disappointed over the weekend.

The UK's blue-chip index closed 0.02 per cent higher at 6,097 points.

"It was almost as if investors forgot about the leap day and no investments were planned on a quiet last day of the month," said Jasper Lawler, markets analyst at CMC Markets.

"Stocks were little changed after a surprise bout of monetary stimulus from China helped erase early losses but didn’t prove enough to take markets meaningfully into the green. Markets began the week in a state of disappointment after the meeting of G20 finance ministers failed to produce any tangible plan to address slowing global growth," he added.

Supermarkets drew focus after an announced deal between Morrisons and Amazon's online grocery business.

Online grocer Ocado took a beating in the FTSE 250 as investors worried market share for the struggling delivery service could be eroded. It's share price dropped by 7.77 per cent to 260p per share.

Tesco's share price also fell on fears of more competition, as well as speculation it could put in a bid for Home Retail. It finished down by 2.04 per cent to 180.4p per share.

Rival Sainsbury's had a choppy day, falling immediately on the news of the Morrisons Amazon tie up, but managed to claw back loses, closing up 0.63 per cent 254.4p.

Meanwhile, Morrisons rose 5.91 per cent to 199p per share.

In the banking sector Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC dropped 1.19 per cent to 223.9p per share and 1.65 per cent to 459.65p per share respectively.

Barclays was up ahead of its full-year results, which will be reported tomorrow. It was rose to 172.05p per share, a 1.74 per cent rise.

Mining stocks were among top risers as industrial metal prices remain close to the highs of this year. Anglo American jumped 6.58 per cent to 480.25p per share, while Glencore rose 3.9 per cent to 133.25p per share.

Pharmaceuticals also fell, with AstraZeneca down 2.32 per cent to 4,107p per share. GlaxoSmithKline fell 0.78 per cent to 1,399.5p per share.

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