WEDNESDAY MARKET CLOSE: Supermarkets help Footsie edge upwards

Strong gains were made by supermarkets, including Sainsbury's. Picture: Stuart Cobley

Strong gains were made by supermarkets, including Sainsbury's. Picture: Stuart Cobley

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SUPERMARKETS helped London’s blue chip share index edge upwards despite disappointment after Greece said its latest proposals had been rejected.

The FTSE 100 index lifted 9.93 points to 6,844.8, supported by strong gains for Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Tesco, mitigating the latest Greece development which saw international lenders reject its proposals as it holds the current round of talks with creditors ahead of a deadline for debt repayments.

Jasper Lawler, market analyst at CMC Markets, said having underperformed the rest of Europe earlier in the week, the less Greece-affected FTSE 100 edged out gains as broker notes lifted retailers.

“Sainsbury’s and Next received broker upgrades helping their shares and those of sector rivals Morrisons and Tesco rise, helped by news of a mega-merger between European supermarkets Ahold and Delhaize,” he said.

Sainsbury’s lifted 2 per cent or 6.3p to 275.5p, helping Morrisons add 4.7p to 184.5p. Tesco rose by 0.4p to 215.8p ahead of its latest sales figures on Friday.

An upgrade for Royal Dutch Shell from Deutsche Bank saw the oil major rise 1.5 per cent or 28.5p to 1,916.5p, also helping the top flight shake off concerns over the Greek debt deal.

Greece said international lenders rejected its proposals as it holds the current round of talks with creditors ahead of a deadline for debt repayments at the end of the month.

Miners also littered the risers board thanks to an increase in commodity prices, with BHP Billiton leading the sector higher with a gain of 17.5p to 1,373.5p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 index included Sage Group, down 33p at 516p, Inmarsat down 23.5p at 948.5p, Taylor Wimpey down 4.6p at 189.4p and Barratt Developments down 14.5p at 618p.

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