The largest full-year loss ever felt by a British retailer unsurprisingly made a dent on the FTSE 100 on Wednesday, as shares in Tesco fell by 5.5 per cent.
The embattled supermarket was the biggest faller on the FTSE after reporting an annual loss of £6.4bn – a "difficult year" in the words of chief executive Dave Lewis who declined to provide details of the planned disposal of assets.
Tesco was hurt most by a multi-billion writedown of its property portfolio, as underlying sales showing signs of recovery. The company's shares actually rose two per cent (following an 18 per cent gain since the start of the year) in early trading before taking a later tumble as analysts warned the company remained a long way from returning to profitability.
Banking stocks also fell on Wednesday as the FTSE closed 0.5 per cent lower at 7,028 points. Standard Chartered shares fell by 1.5 per cent while Citi and Credit Suisse cut their target share prices.
Rolls Royce was the best performer on the index, rising 4.1 per cent following the announcement that departing chief executive John Rishton would be replaced by Warren East, former boss of chipmaker Arm Holdings.