FTSE 100 sees minor decline amidst robust retail sector performance

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FTSE 100 sees minor decline amidst robust retail sector performance
Credit: © Reuters.

The FTSE 100 fell slightly by 0.11% to close at 7,401.72 on Wednesday, as declines in financial and mining sectors were offset by strong results in the retail sector. The index was adversely impacted by companies such as National Grid (LON: NG ), BP (NYSE: BP ), Shell (LON: SHEL ), Anglo American (JO: AGLJ ), and Fresnillo (LON: FRES ). However, strong performances from Marks & Spencer (OTC: MAKSY ) and AB Foods (LON: ABF ) helped counterbalance these losses.

Marks & Spencer reported a significant surge in first-half profits of £325.6m, a substantial increase from £208m a year ago. This announcement led to an 8.88% rise in its shares to 244.1p. The retailer also saw a remarkable 14.7% increase in food sales and a 10.8% rise in revenue, reaching £6.1bn.

Other retailers also experienced gains, with JD (NASDAQ: JD ) Wetherspoon reporting a robust 9.5% growth in like-for-like sales in the first quarter. On the other hand, ITV (LON: ITV ) announced a meager 1% improvement in total revenue for the first nine months of the year, leading to a 6% drop in its share price.

In economic news, Eurozone retail sales declined for the third consecutive month in September according to Eurostat data, with notable drops in non-food products at 1.9% and automotive fuel at 0.9%. August’s figures were revised upward to -0.7% from -1.2%. In the US, mortgage applications increased due to lower borrowing fees and concerns over a softening labor market, with purchasing applications jumping by 3%.

The FTSE's performance earlier in the week was mixed, with a minor gain on Monday (0.03 points) and a loss on Tuesday (7.72 points). The pound remained steady against the dollar and fell 0.1% against the euro.

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