Marks & Spencer’s success in poaching a senior Tesco executive to run its internet business has caused the retailer’s shares to jump more than 1%.
The appointment of Laura Wade-Grey, which was announced after the market closed on Monday, should help chief executive Marc Bolland’s quest to lift web sales from £400 million to at least £800 million by 2013/14.
M&S shares were 6.5p higher at 366.3p, although the FTSE 100 Index failed to extend gains seen on Monday as it retreated 11.4 points to 6039.8.
Bank shares were closely watched after Chancellor George Osborne announced he was making the levy on bank profits permanent, raising an extra £800 million this year and £2.5 billion every year.
Shares in Royal Bank of Scotland dropped 0.2p to 44p and Barclays fell 1.85p to 310.9p although Lloyds Banking Group edged 0.1p higher to 64.6p.
Thomas Cook shares were up 2% despite its warning that political unrest in travel hotspots Egypt and Tunisia would hit second-quarter profits by around £20 million. Analysts said the rest of winter trading update appeared positive as the stock lifted 4.2p to 197.7p.
Meanwhile, household products group McBride fell 8% or 11.5p to 136.6p after reporting a 26% drop in half-year operating profits.