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FTSE wobbles; Sainsbury’s beats forecasts
Markets make cautious progress amid ongoing drama in Greece as Sainsbury’s beats expectations, posting a 7% rise in profits.
Britain’s markets hovered on Wednesday as the future of the eurozone hung in the balance, with Greek politicians attempting to form an anti-bailout government.
The FTSE 100 lost 0.2%, or 12 points, to 5,543 and the Mid-250 index fell 0.18%, or 20 points, to 10,853. See the FTSE’s performance and the index’s top risers and fallers.
Supermarket Sainsbury’s (SBRY.L) rose 8.6p, or 2.8%, to 310p as profits beat expectations, driven by the success of its own-label range and price-matching scheme.
Full-year profits rose 7% to £712 million in 2011, ahead of forecasts amid difficult market conditions. However, the chain announced that it is to slow its rate of store expansion from 7% to 5% in the coming year.
Greek anti-bailout party to attempt coalition
In Greece the leader of the left-wing SYRIZA party, Alexis Tsipras, is meeting with other parties to try to form a coalition. However, a deal is unlikely as Tsipras set backing out of the EU and International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a condition for forming a government.
Simon Denham, chief executive officer of Capital Spreads, said: ‘The anti-austerity rhetoric coming from France and Greece hasn’t been good for the markets in the last few days and the uncertainty that comes with it has seen the FTSE wipe all its gains for 2012 out yesterday.
‘There’s nothing wrong with calling for more growth measures but it has to be in the context of existing fiscal capabilities. Without some sort of prudence government spending and debt burdens will continue to spiral and be even more difficult to address down the line.’
Other stock markets in Europe also made modest gains: Germany’s DAX index added 0.72% to 6,492, France's CAC 40 index took on 0.48% to 3,139, and the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares rose 0.3% to 1,021.
Clinton Cards to be forced into administration
Clinton Cards (CLCA.L) expects to be forced into administration later today by its biggest supplier, after trading was suspended on the stock exchange.
Broadcaster ITV (ITV.L) rose to the top of the FTSE 100, gaining 3p, or 3.7%, to hit 83.8p as the group forecast revenues for the first half of 2012 to rise 3%, beating of the market. It expects to be boosted by the Euro soccer tournament and a strong first quarter.
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