(Sharecast News) – London shares were sharply lower on Friday due to worries about China’s troubled property sector, with Evergrande declaring bankruptcy in a US court to protect its assets ahead of a potential restructure. Sentiment was also hit by worse-than-expected UK retail sales figures. Things were so tough that only five FTSE 250 stocks registered gains.
UK retail sales fell 1.2% in July compared with June, official data showed on Friday, further than estimates as wet weather and the cost of living crisis hitting volumes.
Food stores sales volumes fell by 2.6%, with supermarkets reporting that the wet weather reduced clothing sales, although food sales also fell back; retailers indicated that the increased cost of living and food prices continued to affect sales volumes, the Office for National Statistics said.
Economists had forecast a fall of 0.6%. On an annual basis, sales fell 3.2%, from -1.6% in June, also below the consensus of a 2.1% decline in growth.
Non-food stores sales volumes fell by 1.7%, following a rise of 0.6% in June 2023; retailers reported that the fall over the month was because of poor weather reducing footfall. Department stores and other shops selling household goods posted an even worse decline of 3.8% because of a fall in furniture and lighting products sales.
With little corporate news to drive markets, signs of hard-pressed consumers tightening their belts hit shares like building materials supplier Grafton as home owners delayed maintenance and improvement works. Premier Foods was lower as customers cut the size of their weekly shop.
Bank of Georgia shares fell sharply as traders took profits from Thursday’s surge after the announcement of a share buyback.
FTSE 250 (MCX) 18,017.35 -1.85%
techMARK (TASX) 4,180.17 -1.13%
FTSE 250 – Risers
W.A.G Payment Solutions (WPS) 92.00p 5.26%
UK Commercial Property Reit Limited (UKCM) 50.00p 1.11%
Digital 9 Infrastructure NPV (DGI9) 51.30p 0.59%
Helios Towers (HTWS) 85.05p 0.24%
Network International Holdings (NETW) 387.40p 0.05%
HICL Infrastructure (HICL) 121.20p 0.00%
Apax Global Alpha Limited (APAX) 168.20p 0.00%
SDCL Energy Efficiency Income Trust (SEIT) 71.60p 0.00%
Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH) 3,800.00p -0.05%
Personal Assets Trust (PNL) 461.00p -0.11%
FTSE 250 – Fallers
Bank of Georgia Group (BGEO) 3,340.00p -8.12%
Molten Ventures (GROW) 227.00p -5.50%
VinaCapital Vietnam Opportunity Fund Ltd. (VOF) 435.00p -4.81%
Vietnam Enterprise Investments (DI) (VEIL) 591.00p -4.68%
CLS Holdings (CLI) 125.40p -4.42%
Grafton Group Ut (CDI) (GFTU) 818.90p -4.27%
Syncona Limited NPV (SYNC) 138.00p -4.17%
Vistry Group (VTY) 711.50p -4.11%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 1,265.50p -3.98%
4Imprint Group (FOUR) 4,750.00p -3.85%