Justin King, the departing chief executive of Sainsbury's, cashed in a £1.05m stake in the supermarket yesterday.
Mr King, who will bow out in July on a high after announcing record annual profits this week, sold 319,919 shares, about a fifth of his holding. Sainsbury's held firm despite news of the sale late in the day, adding 4.6p to 335.8p.
Sector mate Marks & Spencer was also in favour, climbing 9p to 458.4p. After a flood of bad news from M&S, the feeling among traders is that full-year figures out later this month might just beat low expectations.
Despite Citi declaring that the UK market is in the midst of a boom, the Footsie ended the week down 24.68 at 6,814.57.
The index was dragged lower by a profit warning from Petrofac. The oilfield builder and operator said delays in its energy services division meant profits would be up to 11 per cent lower than expected this year, between $580m (£340m) and £600m. Petrofac fall 211p to 1,177p, while Ithaca Energy, the owner of one of the delayed projects, lost 16.75p to 135p.
After an initial bounce driven by rising passenger numbers and narrowing losses, British Airways owner IAG ended the day 19.6p off at 385p as investors digested the point that it is still losing money.
The product-testing group Intertek, which benefited from last year's horsemeat scandal, climbed 41p to 3,027p after an upgrade from Credit Suisse ahead of results next Friday.
The mid-tier hedge fund Man Group lost 3.1p to 97.6p despite its third consecutive quarter of net in-flows, as chief executive Manny Roman warned that the outlook for the rest of the year was "cautious".
On AIM, Wessex Exploration was forced to admit it is in advanced talks to buy offshore assets in Asia after the shares shot up. The talks are in response to a shareholder rebellion by Milroy Capital and its former managing director Frederik Dekker, who are together trying to oust the management of the oil and gas explorer. Wessex welled up 0.32p to 1.05p.
Investment vehicle Ducat Ventures suspended shares at 0.07p after confirming it is in talks for a potential reverse takeover.Reuse content