MONDAY MARKET CLOSE: Supermarkets hit by fears over sales

Shares in the UK’s biggest supermarkets fell on the back of report showing that revenues in the sector had fallen for the first time on record.

The FTSE 100 rose despite the grocery hit. Picture: AP Photo/ Alastair Grant

The study, from The Share Centre, showed takings across the industry were suffering amid the ongoing grocery price war, and market leader Tesco ended the session 3.05p lower at 212.75p. Rival Sainsbury’s fell 3.3p to 264.4p and Morrisons closed down 1.4p at 183p.

Tony Cross, market analyst at Trustnet Direct, said: “Banks too came under pressure as the cloud of fines relating to the mis-selling of insurance continues to linger over the sector and weigh on lenders’ profits.”

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Lloyds Banking Group eased 0.83p to 81.3p, while fellow bailed-out firm Royal Bank of Scotland dipped 1.6p to 343.9p, although Barclays headed in the right direction, closing 1.35p higher at 282.6p.

The wider FTSE 100 ended the first trading day of the week up 17.73 points at 6,736.22 as miners recovered from an early hit, sparked by figures from China showing an unexpectedly sharp drop in trade in the world’s second-biggest economy, pointing to weak demand at home and abroad.

Anglo American ended the day 7.9p higher at 808.4p, BHP Billiton rose 18p to 1,209p and Antofagasta edged up 4.5p to 594p, despite concerns that the trade data was an indication efforts from the People’s Bank of China to date may not have been enough to stabilise the country’s economy.

Rio Tinto was the biggest top-flight riser, gaining 47.5p or 1.8 per cent to close at 2,635p, while the heaviest faller on the Footsie was Prudential. The life and pensions group, which posts its half-year results today, dropped 22p or 1.4 per cent to finish at 1,506.5p.