TUESDAY MARKET CLOSE: Carnival down as profits slump

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Cruise operator Carnival was the biggest faller on the FTSE 100 as it admitted it might take years for its Costa brand to recover from the Concordia disaster.

Shares in the group were down 134p, or 5.6 per cent, at 2,258p as it also revealed a 30 per cent drop in third quarter profits.

Alex Young, senior sales trader at CMC Markets, said: “The world’s largest cruise operator has had a difficult year, and has struggled to keep pace with previous year’s ticket sales despite lowering prices.”

Meanwhile the FTSE 100 struggled for direction after a mixed business survey from Germany and talk of a new government funding standoff in Washington. The index ended a topsy-turvy session 14.09 points higher at 6,571.46.

Lenders were among the risers, helped by a charm offensive by Bank of England policymakers aimed at strengthening the forward guidance that interest rates will remain low for years to come. Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland were both up 1.9 per cent, at 271.45p and 367.9p respectively.

Top flight newcomers Sports Direct and Coca Cola HBC both bounced back after slumping on their Monday debut. Sports Direct added 15p at 709p, while Coca Cola was 39p ahead at 1,864p.

Tesco was on the back foot after the latest industry figures showed it was still losing market share to its rivals. The shares were down 2p at 374p. Morrisons fell 1.7p to 287.6p as the figures, from Kantar, showed its slice of the pie had also thinned.But Sainsbury’s was 2.8p higher at 398p after its market share grew to 16.6 per cent, from 16.4 per cent.

In the second tier, shares in Close Brothers were forging fresh ten-year highs after a 20 per cent rise in profits. The stock jumped 5 per cent to 1,189p.