FTSE 100 share index climbed to fresh record highs on Tuesday with UK retailers gaining, while European blue chips failed to hold early gains, with financials the biggest drag.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.3 percent, while the FTSE 100 .FTSE hit a new all-time high of 7,261.16 points before paring back slightly to stand 0.2 percent higher.

France’s CAC 40 .FCHI and Germany’s DAX .GDAXI were both down 0.1 percent.

Retail was heavily in focus. Morrisons (MRW.L) was a top gainer in London after Christmas trading results exceeded expectations. Its shares were up 4.5 percent and had already traded a full day’s average volume within the first 15 minutes.

Britain’s largest retailer, Tesco (TSCO.L), joined Morrisons at the top of the table, up 3.5 percent after market research showed it had the fastest sales growth of the country’s four major players.

Meanwhile German discount retailer Metro (MEOG.DE) lost 2 percent after reporting sluggish festive sales.

Basic resources stocks .SXPP were the top performers, extending their recent gains. The top risers were Anglo American (AAL.L), Rio Tinto (RIO.L) and BHP Billiton (BLT.L), which tracked the price of copper higher. [MET/L]


The fast food delivery company Just Eat (JE.L) was the top faller on the FTSE, down 6.3 percent, after reporting full-year order growth of 42 percent but failing to beat its estimates.

“With a stock trading on such a lofty valuation, the market has grown to expect the company to exceed its estimates, so there’s a little bit of disappointment,” said Michael Stewart, analyst at Panmure Gordon Equities.

“It highlights the expectation that these companies can go on upgrading forever. We believe the investment case is intact, especially if the acquisition of Hungry House goes ahead.”

Insurance .SXIP and banking .SX7P were the worst performing sectors across indexes, with Commerzbank (CBKG.DE) the biggest DAX faller, down 2.5 percent on a UBS downgrade to “sell”, and Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) tracking it lower, down 2.3 percent.

Spain’s Banco Popular (POP.MC) led the Madrid IBEX .IBEX lower, falling 3.1 percent.

Italian banks were back in focus for non-performing loans after Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca proposed a settlement with shareholders that could cost more than 600 million euros.

Banco BPM (BAMI.MI), which had a winning streak in its first trading week, was down 2.2 percent at the bottom of Italy’s FTSE MIB index .FTMIB, with Unicredit (CRDI.MI), Ubi Banca (UBI.MI) and Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP.MI) not far behind.

DryShips Inc. (DRYS) ended last trading session with a change of -9.9 percent. It trades at an average volume of 7.92M shares versus 15.9M shares recorded at the end of last trading session. The share price of $2.73 is at a distance of -7.77 percent from its 52-week low and down -99.02 percent versus its peak. The company has a market cap of $3.17M and currently has 1.16M shares outstanding. The share price is currently -33.51 percent versus its SMA20, -68.77 percent versus its SMA50, and -94.56 percent versus its SMA200. The stock has a weekly performance of -26.02 percent and is -26.02 percent year-to-date as of the recent close.

Nokia Corporation (NOK) recently recorded -1.83 percent change and currently at $4.83 is 19.55 percent away from its 52-week low and down -32.43 percent versus its peak. It has a past 5-day performance of 0.42 percent and trades at an average volume of 13.2M shares. The stock has a 1-month performance of 2.77 percent and is 0.42 percent year-to-date as of the recent close. There were about 5.78B shares outstanding which made its market cap $27.94B. The share price is currently 0.84 percent versus its SMA20, 6.19 percent versus its SMA50, and -8.36 percent versus its SMA200.