Retailers push FTSE 100 to a new high
London's main index hit a record high on Tuesday, boosted by gains among retailers, while a rally in mining stocks more than offset weaker financials, helping European shares end slightly in positive territory.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index inched up 0.1pc, while the FTSE 100 rose 0.5pc after hitting a new all-time high of 7,284.81 points helped by a weaker pound. France's CAC 40 was flat and Germany's DAX added 0.2pc.
In Dublin the Iseq closed up 0.41pc at 60601.56.
In London retail was heavily in focus. Britain's largest retailer, Tesco, rose 6pc after market research showed it had the fastest sales growth of the country's four major players.
Morrisons was among the top gainers in London after Christmas trading results exceeded expectations. Its shares ended up 3.6pc in heavy volumes.
Metro underperformed its UK peers with a flat close after the German discount retailer reported sluggish festive sales.
Mining and metal stocks were the top performers, up 3.3pc, extending their recent gains. The top risers were Anglo American, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, which tracked the price of copper higher.
Fast food delivery company Just Eat was the top faller in Europe, down 6.9pc, after growth of 42pc failed to beat estimates.
"With a stock trading on such a lofty valuation, the market has grown to expect the company to exceed its estimates, so there's a little bit of disappointment," said Michael Stewart, analyst at Panmure Gordon Equities.
In Lisbon, Banco Commercial Portugues fell 11.3pc to a new low after the bank approved a heavily dilutive 1.3-billion-euros cash call to boost its capital position, dragging European banks lower.