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FTSE 100 Live: Stock to open lower as retail sales falter

Published 05/03/2024, 07:43
Updated 05/03/2024, 07:43
FTSE 100 Live: Stock to open lower as retail sales falter

Proactive Investors - Wet Feb hits retail sales.

UK retail sales fell short of expectations in February, with the BRC Retail Sales Monitor rising a flat 1% year on year, clearly missing the 1.5% mark expected by the market.

Bad weather and persistent cost-of-living pressures weighed on sales, with February's figure the lowest since August 2022.

Sales on non-food items declined by 2.5% in the three months to February, while food sales over the past three months increased by 6%.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive at the BRC, commented: “Consumer demand was dampened by the wettest February on record, translating into a poor month of retail sales growth. Not even Valentine’s Day lifted customers out of the gloom.”

Stocks to open lower

The FTSE 100 is expected to open around 24 points lower at 7,612 when markets open today, after closing 40 points lower on Monday.

Markets were weighed down by hefty losses from Ocado (LON:OCDO), St James’s Place and Entain (LON:ENT), while tomorrow’s high-stakes Spring Budget appears to fraying nerves too.

Retail sales data released this morning hasn’t lifted the mood; the BRC Retail Sales Monitor rose a flat 1%, coming in far below the 1.5% forecasted growth.

Elsewhere on the macroeconomic calendar, new car sales figures are expected later this morning.

In company news, sausage roll kingpin Gregg plc has full-year results out shortly, with Hargreaves Lansdown (LON:HRGV) pinning hopes on £168 million of pre-tax profits.

Builders' merchant Travis Perkins (LON:TPK) also has results due, with nervous shareholders fully expecting a dividend cut.

Results from IWG (LON:IWG), Reach plc and a trading update from Ashtead Group PLC (LON:AHT) are also due.

Read more on Proactive Investors UK

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