Markets: Retailers buoyed by mixed results

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Supermarket chains Tesco and Morrisons shrugged off figures showing they were losing market share to rival Sainsbury’s as they took cheer from corporate results elsewhere.

Sainsbury’s grew its market share by 0.4 percentage points year-on-year to 16.8 per cent in the 12 weeks to 28 October, according to market research firm Kantar Worldpanel.

Its growth came at the expense of rivals Morrisons and Tesco, which both lost 0.5 percentage points to stand at 11.5 per cent and 30.5 per cent respectively.

Shares in Morrisons still managed to add 1.6p at 267.3p while Tesco was virtually flat at 326.8p. Sainsbury’s gained 1.6p at 356.4p.

Better-than-expected results from high street bellwether Marks and Spencer helped the retailers. M&S reported a 10 per cent fall in profits to £290 million, but shares rose nearly 3 per cent as the firm said bolder buying of key fashion trends helped ease declines in non-food sales during the second quarter.

B&Q owner Kingfisher was up 4.7p to 291.7p.

The wider FTSE 100 index closed 45.8 points higher at 5,884.9.

Michael Hewson, senior analyst at CMC Markets, said: “Investors appear to be focussing on the better-than-expected performances of companies that have been reporting their latest numbers.”

Outside the top flight, Glasgow-based gas meter specialist Smart Metering Systems was on the rise after signing an updated contract with energy giant E.ON.

NEW YORK: Wall Street climbed last night as voters go to the polls to choose the next US president and as investors looked forward to a resolution of the drawn-out race for the White House.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 133.24 points, or 1.02 percent, to end at 13,245.68 while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 11.10 points, or 0.78 per cent, to finish at 1,428.36.