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Shares in retailers struggle despite high street reopening

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August Graham, PA City Reporter
·3-min read
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The fact that shops were allowed to welcome customers again for the first time in months did not boost the share prices of some of the UK’s biggest retailers.

Next and B&Q-owner Kingfisher helped push down the value of London’s FTSE 100, which ended the day down 26.63 points, or 0.4%, to 6,889.12.

Both companies lost more than 2% of their value, ending in the index’s worst performers for the day.

It came despite a return to some level of normal for the economy, as non-essential shops in England were allowed to open for the first time since the beginning of January.

Restrictions have been in place to help control the spread of the Covid-19 virus, which has killed more than 120,000 people in the UK.

In the FTSE 250, retailer Games Workshop, pub owner Mitchells & Butlers and Wagamama and Frankie & Benny’s owner The Restaurant Group, all ranked among the day’s share price losers.

Michael Hewson, the chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said that investors had pushed up the prices of some of these companies’ shares to highs they had not seen in months last week.

“(It) looks suspiciously like a classic case of buying the expectation of the re-opening, and taking some profit on the fact,” he said on Monday.

Meanwhile, weaker gold and copper prices also put pressure on some of the country’s biggest miners, including Anglo American, Antofagasta and BHP.

US exchanges joined the FTSE 100 in the red, with the S&P 500 and Dow Jones both down around 0.2% as markets were closing in Europe.

The big indexes in Paris and Frankfurt – the Cac and the Dax – were down 0.1% on the day.

The pound had gained 0.3% to buy 1.3745 dollars and 0.1% to buy 1.154 euros around market close on Monday.

In company news, Hammerson saw its shares drop 2.9% after the company announced it was talking to a private equity company about selling some of its sites.

Next shares dropped 2.1% after it announced a deal with Homebase that will open mini garden centres in six Next stores.

Cake Box said that like-for-like sales grew by nearly 15% between June and March after shops opened following the first lockdown. Shares rose 5.2% on Monday.

Cybersecurity company Darktrace announced plans to list on the London Stock Exchange.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Lloyds, up 1.135p to 44.39p, Just Eat Takeaway.com, up 129p to 7354p, Admiral Group, up 54p to 3204p, Barclays, up 2.38p to 188.08p, and United Utilities, up 11.8p to 969.6p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Rolls-Royce, down 3.66p to 108.22p, Rightmove, down 17.8p to 600.6p, Taylor Wimpey, down 5.2p to 184.85p, Kingfisher, down 9.2p to 334.7p, and Next, down 196p to 8100p.