Better-than-expected trading results from high street giant Marks & Spencer failed to cheer investors as the retailer sank to the bottom of the FTSE-100 Index.
A cautious outlook from M&S spooked investors and prompted shares to fall 6.3p to 377.8p, despite the company posting UK like-for-like sales growth in the 13 weeks to January 1 of 2.8%.
But the overall market was lifted by a strong show for banking stocks, boosted by a note from Citigroup upgrading HSBC’s stock. The FTSE-100 Index was up 49.88 points at 6006.18.
HSBC saw shares advance 16.7p to 689.3p, while Barclays surged more than 4% or 12.3p to 288.95p and part-nationalised Lloyds added 1.6p to 66.8p.
Flavour-of-the-month ARM Holdings continued to enjoy a strong run as the computer-chip designer surged to the top of the risers board, up more than 6% or 31p at 496p.
The Cambridge-based firm is still benefiting from last week’s announcement from computing giant Microsoft, which intends to develop Window-based platforms running on ARM-designed chips.
Capital Shopping Centres hit the bottom of the top-tier after a US property giant dropped its £3 billion pursuit of the shopping mall owner.
Simon Property Group, which owns or has an interest in 393 properties worldwide, said it was left with no alternative but to walk away because Capital refused to share due diligence information.