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MARKET REPORT: Morrisons set for Footsie relegation as it lags rivals 

Morrisons shares closed down 0.4%, or 0.6p, at 169.4p last night - adding to a multi-day drop that will send it off the blue chip index and into the middle market capitalizations

Morrisons supermarket is set to exit the FTSE 100 for the first time in five years after trailing rival grocers during the pandemic.

Its shares closed down 0.4%, or 0.6p, at 169.4p last night – adding to a multi-day drop that will send it off the blue chip index and into the mids market capitalizations in the next redesign.

Although sales have increased and it has managed to increase its market share slightly – to 10.3% in the 12 weeks to February 21 – many believe it has fallen behind its tech-savvy rivals. over the past year.

Morrisons shares closed down 0.4%, or 0.6p, at 169.4p last night - adding to a multi-day drop that will send it off the blue chip index and into the middle market capitalizations

Morrisons shares closed down 0.4%, or 0.6p, at 169.4p last night – adding to a multi-day drop that will send it off the blue chip index and into the middle market capitalizations

This means Morrisons is facing its second exit from the premier index, the last time being in 2016.

Water company Pennon, which closed 0.5%, or 4.6p, at 917.6p, is also in the firing line.

In their place are holiday company Tui, down 3.6%, or 16.1p, to 436.7p, and engineer Weir Group, down 2.9%, or 57.5p, to 1948 .5p, should move from mid caps.

But the most notable mover is Dr Martens, who is still gloating over the success of his blockbuster float in January, which is set to make a move into the FTSE 250.

Many have speculated that the group, whose shares fell 1.6%, or 7.7p, to 482.3p, could have gone straight to the FTSE 100, but Tui is likely to pipe it.

Stock Watch – Chocolate Hotel

Traders had a strong appetite for chocolatier Hotel Chocolat, which rose 2.2%, or 8p, to 380p at the end of yesterday’s session.

The retailer managed to create 130 jobs in the six months to December as turnover rose 11% to £102m and profit rose 3% to £16m sterling, helped by the ever-lucrative Christmas season.

An additional 600,000 people joined his loyalty program and he launched chocolate subscriptions. It plans to reopen UK stores from April 12.

It was a mixed day for the major indices, with the FTSE 100 rising 0.4%, or 25.22 points, to 6613.75, while the FTSE 250 fell 0.2%, or 43.55 points, at 21177.91.

On a busy day of financial results, investors cheered better-than-expected annual numbers from global recruiter Robert Walters.

Profits fell 75% to £12m as companies around the world implemented hiring freezes.

But vaccine rollouts and indications that things are improving in Asia, its biggest market, helped shares rise 6.2%, or 32p, to 552p.

Traders accelerated Lookers 4.5%, or 1.8p, to 42.2p after city regulators closed an investigation into the car dealership without imposing fines.

He had set aside £10.4m to pay a fine, but the Financial Conduct Authority instead reprimanded him for his “historical culture, systems and controls”.

The investigation was launched in 2019 after red flags were raised internally over its sale process, prompting a management release and £19million adjustment to results last year.

Travis Perkins, on the other hand, slipped 3.3%, or 48.5p, to 1,429.5p, after reporting a loss of £7.7million and refusing to pay a dividend to shareholders.

Group-wide sales fell 12% to £6.2billion last year – but jumped nearly a fifth at its DIY chain Wickes as extra time spent at home during the pandemic has prompted locked-down Britons to spend millions renovating their homes.

Despite this trend, Travis Perkins has revived his plans to spin off Wickes so he can focus on sales in the construction business. He expects Wickes to be a separate listed company by the summer.

Private jet group Signature Aviation said flights were still down in February amid second waves and lockdowns – but by far less than last spring.

It was virtually flat, with shares down 0.1%, or 0.3p, at 398.9p, despite losing £17m as the target share price remained around the level of a bid of 411p per share last month.

Private equity giant Blackstone, Edinburgh airport owner Global Infrastructure Partners and Bill Gates investment vehicle Cascade are awaiting investor approval for the £3.5bn joint offering.

Elsewhere in aviation, defense contractor Meggitt has met with a chilling reception after signing a “big multi-million pound contract” to supply Boeing’s 737 Max jets with cockpit indicators. It closed down 2.5%, or 11p, at 429.7p.

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