Market Report: Morrisons expected to launch turnaround strategy

Short sellers are predicting bad news from Wm Morrison's preliminary results tomorrow.

The supermarket has been falling steadily since September but many think it can fall further, with data from Astec Analytics showing the number of shares being borrowed, the prerequisite for short selling, at the highest level in almost a year.

Morrisons, down 2.9p at 230.8p, is expected to launch a turnaround strategy tomorrow but Santander warned that "a dramatic operational deterioration" has constrained management's options. Numbers from Kantar Worldpanel yesterday revealed a fall in both market share and sales in the first quarter.

Aviva rose after upgrades from Nomura and Royal Bank of Canada. Fahad Changazi at Nomura thinks Aviva is still trading at a discount to peers. The insurer added 14p to 523.5p.

Merrill Lynch helped Reckitt Benckiser and Next to the top of the table in two separate notes. The broker reckons Reckitt's purchase of lubricant-maker K-Y earlier in the week is just the start of a possible acquisition spree, talk that sent the consumer goods group up 113p to 4,953p. Another missive dubbing Next "the gift that keeps on giving" helped it climb 150p to 6,745p.

But any gains on the blue chip index were held back by the banks after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warned that the forex rigging scandal currently unfolding could be "as serious" as Libor. Barclays fell to a 15-month low, down 5.85p at 236.15p, not helped by a forecast downgrade from Morgan Stanley.

The FTSE 100 closed down 3.93 points at 6,685.52.

On the mid-cap index, African Barrick Gold lost almost a fifth of its value, down 58.1p at 250p, after its parent company cashed out.

Toronto-based Barrick Gold sold a 10 per cent stake and Goldman Sachs warned that last year's attempt to sell its entire 73 per cent holding to China National Gold means further disposals are likely.

Share, parent company of independent retail stockbroker The Share Centre, was the day's biggest riser on AIM thanks to positive results, up 8.5p to 37.5p.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Software Development Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Product Manager - (Product Marketing, Financial Services)

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee