Market Report: Business rates review gives boost to high street retailers

 

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The Independent Online

Bricks and mortar retailers have been given a boost by the Government, thanks to the start of an extensive review of much-hated business rates.

High street stalwarts such as Next, up 205p at 7,555p, and B&Q owner Kingfisher, 12.3p better at 367p, bounced after the Treasury announced a “radical” review of the levy charged on stores. Jasper Lawler, market analyst at CMC Markets, said: “Traditional retailers have been undercut by online equivalents with lower fixed asset costs so a cut to business taxes could help them.” Tesco jumped 8.5p to 241.35p, scoring an extra boost from reports that WPP has entered the race to buy its Clubcard data unit, Dunnhumby. And J Sainsbury, up 9.5p at 268.6p, topped the Footsie amid optimism about the contents of its trading update, due today.

Marks & Spencer rallied by 12.4p to 506p as RBC Capital Markets said it expects to see an improvement in the retailer’s online operation when M&S updates on trading early next month.

The revival helped the FTSE 100 rally 63.50 points to 6,804.08, recovering from its worst week of losses so far this year.

Tullow Oil tumbled 17.1p to 281.2p, due to continued oil price weakness and Exane BNP Paribas cutting its target price for the company by 5 per cent.

Just Eat, 16.3p better at 363.3p, and Ted Baker, up 158p at 2,739p, both rallied ahead of annual results later this week. It was suggested at the weekend that Ted Baker could unveil a record pre-tax profit of £48.6m when it reports on Thursday.

Insurance outsourcer Quindell jumped 22.25p to 121.75p after confirming reports that its legal division, currently up for sale, could fetch £640m in cash, plus a share of some cases currently on the slate. Quindell said this was one of “a number of deal structures” considered as part of talks with Australian firm Slater & Gordon, which is reportedly close to signing on a deal.

Polar Capital is obviously a vodka fan – the investment manager has taken a 7 per cent chunk in vodka chain Revolution Bars, down 4p at 196.5p. Revolution floated at 200p last week.

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