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FTSE scales fresh high but M&S falls on store closures

FTSE scales fresh high but M&S falls on store closures
 

Update: The FTSE 100 has racked up another all-time high but Marks and Spencer (MKS) was left behind by the rally, as the retailer confirmed store closures.

The UK blue-chip index rose 21 points, or 0.3%, to 7,880, having earlier in the session notched up a new all-time intraday high of 7,883. Another all-time closing high is within its sights, after yesterday's 7,859 close.

Marks and Spencer fell to the bottom of the index, down 2.9% at 291.6p as it confirmed reports of store closures.

The retailer has identified 14 stores that will close as part of plans to shut more than 100 over the next four years. Of those 100, 21 have already been shut. 

Shore Capital analyst Clive Black said the 'acceleration of the store closure programme reflects... speeding up of the operating efficiency of the company and the pull forward of some of the cost savings that the company outlined back in November 2017'.

But the big movers were to be found outside the blue-chip index. Among 'mid-cap' stocks, sandwich maker Greencore (GNC) surged 9.4% to 171.3p on strong half-year earnings.

Meat supplier Cranswick (CWK) joined it at the top of the index, up 6.65 at £33.72 after a 22.45 jump in annual profits.

Ocado (OCDO) was another strong riser, up 6.2% at 927.8p following last week's tie-up with US supermarket giant Kroger (KR.N).

Halfords (HALF) fell to the bottom of the index, down 11% at 345.4p as the bicycle and car parts retailer issued a profit warning.

Inmarsat (ISA) was another heavy faller, 11% lower at 346p on fears the satellite maker's monopoly in maritime safety communications could come under threat, following approval of a rival system from Iridium Communications (IRDM.O).

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