FTSE gains amid Tesco sales boost

FTSE gains amid Tesco sales boost

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The FTSE 100 Index was up 4.4 points to 5774.7

Supermarket Tesco has edged higher on the London market as third quarter sales figures were well received.

The retail giant admitted the recent snow disruption had since impacted sales, but said lost ground would likely be recovered as consumers stock back up over the next few weeks.

The group’s shares rose 2%, although trading was slow on the wider FTSE 100 Index – up 4.4 points to 5774.7.

Tesco said like-for-like sales were up 1.5% in the three months to November 27, up on the 1.2% increase during the first half despite easing food price inflation, which helped shares rise 6.6p 426.6p.

Bank shares remained under pressure as concerns over Europe’s debt crisis continued to dog the sector, which is seen as being exposed to many of the troubled countries.

Barclays fell 4.1p to 258.9p, Royal Bank of Scotland lost 0.3p to 40.8p and HSBC shed 2.8p to 663.9p.

But Plumb Center parent Wolseley was on the rise, up 20p to 1850p, after it said its first quarter trading performance was slightly ahead of expectations, with like-for-like sales up 4%.

Elsewhere, housebuilder Bellway rose 15.5p to 573.5p as it said this year’s interim profits would be up 20% as buyer interest has returned since the government spending review.

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