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Whitbread shares surge fails to spare FTSE 100 from hefty falls

The FTSE 100 closed down 1.1% or 83.6 points at 7432.4.

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Whitbread shares raced 14% higher amid cheer over its £3.9 billion deal to sell Costa Coffee, but failed to stop the wider London market sinking deep into the red.

Whitbread shares raced 14% higher amid cheer over its £3.9 billion deal to sell Costa Coffee, but failed to stop the wider London market sinking deep into the red.

Whitbread shares raced 14% higher amid cheer over its £3.9 billion deal to sell Costa Coffee, but failed to stop the wider London market sinking deep into the red.

Whitbread shares raced 14% higher amid cheer over its £3.9 billion deal to sell Costa Coffee, but failed to stop the wider London market sinking deep into the red.

London’s FTSE 100 Index closed down 83.6 points at a four-month low of 7432.4 despite the boost from Premier Inn owner Whitbread as shareholders welcomed the deal with Coca-Cola, which will see a chunk of proceeds returned to investors.

The rally propelled Whitbread shares to their highest level for almost three years, up 576p at 4596p.

And with the Coca-Cola deal seen as a welcome vote of confidence in UK retail, the news sparked gains for the likes of Tesco, up 1.8p at 246.5p, Next, ahead 6p at 5500p and Marks & Spencer, ahead 0.1p at 301.6p.

But the FTSE joined indices globally in tumbling into negative territory as fears over trade tensions between the US and China returned to spook investors.

The Dax ended the day 1% lower, while the Cac 40 in France finished 1.3% down.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wall Street was also more than 50 points lower at the time of close in London.

On currency markets, the pound was 0.3% lower at 1.30 US dollars and 0.3% higher at 1.12 euros.

Sage Group sunk to the bottom of the FTSE 100 with shares slumping 8% after the British tech firm announced that chief executive Stephen Kelly is stepping down.

The company said the board and Mr Kelly came to an “agreement”, resulting in the boss stepping down after four years at the firm.

It comes at a difficult time for Sage, which axed 30 executives in May as part of plans to “simplify” the organisation amid a sales slowdown.

Sage shares closed 50.2p lower at 595.4p.

Housebuilders were also on the fallers board after the latest Nationwide figures showed house prices suffered their biggest month-on-month dip in six years last month.

Property values fell by 0.5% month on month in August, marking the biggest decline since July 2012, Nationwide Building Society said.

Taylor Wimpey led the sector lower on the top tier, down 2.5p at 167.4p, followed by Charles Church owner Persimmon off 35p at 2433p.

In the FTSE 250, Bellway led builder declines with a 55p, or 2%, fall to 2916p.

Oil majors were also seeing share falls on the blue chip index as the cost of crude dipped slightly Friday due to a stronger dollar and the US and China trade worries.

BP and Royal Dutch Shell both closed 2% lower, off 9.2p to 547.3p and 54.5p at 2540.5p respectively.

But oil prices overall remained higher this week as crude supplies appear to be tightening.

Elsewhere, Frankie & Benny’s owner The Restaurant Group rose 17.4p to 292.6p despite posting another fall in sales and profits after a hit from extreme weather and the World Cup, with investors taking heart in more encouraging recent trading.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Whitbread up 576p at 4596p, Severn Trent ahead 18.5p at 2001p, Tesco 1.8p higher at 246.5p and United Utilities 2.8p stronger at 741.6p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Sage Group down 50.2p at 595.4p, Burberry off 71p at 2236p, Glencore 9.4p weaker at 313.6p and Evraz 12.7p lower at 497.5p.


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