Market Report: Tesco, Sainsbury's and Morrisons labelled an 'unholy trinity'

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The Independent Online

Shore Capital slapped a sell rating on Tesco for the first time since 1996 yesterday, a sign of just how bad things are for supermarkets.

Clive Black at the broker labelled Tesco, up 0.55p at 300.25p, Sainsbury's, 2.5p higher at 313.9p, and Morrisons, up 2.2p at 209.6p, an "unholy trinity" and said uncertainty in the sector meant supermarkets were difficult to recommend to investors.

All three have been losing market share to discounters such as Aldi and Lidl. Vladimir Putin has been striking terror into the markets for over a week now, but yesterday there was a slight rally after he signalled that his territorial ambitions ended with Crimea. The blue-chip index closed 36.93 points higher at 6,605.28.

But this settling of the geopolitical landscape meant a sell-off for gold miners. Fresnillo fell 44p to 880.5p, while Randgold Resources was off 85p at 4,884p.

Cruise operator Carnival, up 52p to 2,433p, was sailing in calm waters after a price upgrade from UBS ahead of next week's first quarter numbers.

Rumours of bad news from industrial support specialist Cape circulated yesterday ahead of today's preliminary results, sending the small-cap firm down 12.75p to 320.25p.

Problems continued to mount at Speedy Hire, down 12.5p at 64.25p. The company said losses at its Middle Eastern venture, where accounting irregularities were discovered last year, will be "greater than anticipated".

FTSE 250-listed printer ink specialist Xaar jammed despite full-year results revealing doubled profits and dividend. Chief executive Ian Dinwoodie announced he will step down next year, sending shares 92.5p lower to 905p.

Wolf Minerals has raised £99.2m to complete the first new mine in Britain for 45 years – in tungsten and tin, creating 200 new jobs. The site has one of the biggest reserves of the metals in the world. Wolf fell 1.12p to 17.62p.

Gem Diamonds said it had sold 97,294 carats of the stones mined from its Letseng site in Lesotho. Revenue jumped 5 per cent to $213m (£128m) in 2013 and net profit climbed 23 per cent to $21m. Gem fell 3.75p to 169.75p.