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British Stocks Fell Flat after Decline in Retail Sales

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Published on : Apr 23, 2015

The shares of the top British companies were left mostly unchanged on Thursday, April 23, 2015, after an unforeseen fall in the national retail sales for this month making up for an increase in the utilities shares just 2 weeks before the general election.

Whereas the expectation for a single party to win an outright majority on May 7, 2015 is very low, and the experts forecasting a kaleidoscope of probable outcomes, the stock market has exhibited few signs of restlessness as some investors decided to keep on stable rather than trade on an industry still trading close to record highs.

The shares of retailers Sports Direct, Marks & Spencer, and Dixons were down almost 0.2% to 2% after the retail data confounded expectations of a healthy number, dropping 0.5% in March when compared to February. However, Sainsbury, the supermarket chain, rose, after it stated that it would remove 800 store jobs in order to cut costs.

Utilities stocks such as SSE and United Utilities were up over 1% after a broker update given by Citi stated that the election volatility would have an impact on the industry going forward, stating in addition that the National Grid is at the most immune position. The National Grid was trading up around 0.6% today. The shares in WPP, which is the biggest advertising agency, fell 1% after the company recorded a slowdown in the first-quarter in net sales, which traders stated were slower than estimated.

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