U.K. stocks closed lower Monday, with shares in retailers and home builders losing ground and helping to pull back London’s blue-chip benchmark from the prior session’s record high. What the market is doing: The FTSE 100 index fell 0.4% to end at 7,696.51 after Friday’s finish at a record. Last week, the benchmark rose 0.5%. The pound traded at $1.3567, roughly unchanged from $1.3569 late Friday in New York. Some retail stocks were under pressure after baby-care products retailer Mothercare PLC released a profit warning. That comes on the heels of last week’s profit warning from department store chain Debenhams and a report from the British Retail Consortium that showed U.K. store prices fell 0.6% in December year-over-year, as retailers offered discounts at the beginning of the Christmas month. Investors also watched developments on the U.K. political front as U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May reshuffled her cabinet. On Sunday, May said in a BBC interview that she’s aiming to reach a post-Brexit transition deal with the European Union by the end of March.
Off the FTSE 100, Mothercare shares MTC, -27.50% sank 28% after the retailer said comparable sales for the 12-week period to Dec. 30 fell both in the U.K. and internationally and its overall group performance has fallen short of expectations. “We are not anticipating any improvement in the short-term market conditions for the U.K. and on this basis the adjusted group profit for the year is likely to be in the range of £1 million-£5 million,” said Mothercare in a statement. In the retail group, stock in Marks & Spencer Group fell 0.9% and Kingfisher PLC U.K. stocks closed lower Monday, with shares in retailers and home builders losing ground and helping to pull back London’s blue-chip benchmark from the prior session’s record high.
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