Shares in supermarket giant Tesco fell today following a downgrade by analysts at HSBC ahead of Wednesday’s third-quarter trading update.
Britain’s biggest grocer lost 2 per cent or 7.05p to 340.9p following the downgrade, which also hit the rest of the supermarket sector, with Sainsbury’s down 10.6p to 396.8p and Morrisons 6p lower at 259.5p.
The torrid day for retailers extended into the FTSE 250, with Debenhams suffering a similar fate – down 3.9 per cent or 3.8p at 92.95p – after the department store chain also fell out of favour with Barclays’ analysts.
Car parts retailer Halfords took a 4 per cent tumble – down 19.4p to 469p – after JP Morgan analysts downgraded the stock.
The FTSE 100 index fell by 0.8 per cent or 55.24 points to 6,595.33 after disappointing Spanish manufacturing figures sparked fresh concerns over the health of the eurozone.
The worries took their toll on commodity prices, which in turn hit mining stocks.
Alastair McCaig, a market analyst at IG, said: “With commodities struggling, it is no surprise that the mining sector has taken a whack and subsequently helped drag the FTSE lower. Four of the top five fallers are mining stocks.”
Fallers included silver producer Fresnillo, which plunged 8.8 per cent or 73p to 760p, after two surveys showed Chinese manufacturing barely expanded in November.
Lloyds Banking Group finished near the top of the risers board after it grew its lending to businesses and households through the Funding for Lending Scheme by £3.1 billion in the third quarter.
With the group also confirming the appointment of Lord Blackwell as its next chairman, shares rose by 1.3p to 78.7p.