- High street retailer Next (NXT) was out of fashion with investors after broker Berenberg downgraded its recommendation to 'sell'.

The analyst said that Next is overburdened by the 'over spaced store estate', which would restrict its ability to invest in its products and free home delivery, resulting in a loss of market share.

The stock was dragged 2.4% lower to £42.73 as investors were nervous about Next's future.

Among the blue-chips, cigarette sellers Imperial Brands (IMB) and British American Tobacco (BATS) were strong performers, up 2.1% to £32.22 and 1.3% to £49.20.

Diageo (DGE) and Ben & Jerry's ice-cream seller Unilever (ULVR) also rose 2% and 1.1%, helping to offset weaker miners, leaving the FTSE 100 trading 0.4% higher at 7,386.

Brent crude oil dropped 0.8% to $50.34 per barrel. Gold fell 1% to $1,270 per ounce and copper shed 0.6% to $6,371 per tonne.


In the UK, inflation was unchanged in July at 2.6% as the price of fuel continued to fall, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Average house prices in England increased by 5.2% in the year to June 2017, down from a 5.3% rise in the year to May.


Strong retail sales figures in the US strengthened the dollar against sterling, although this failed to have much impact on Wall Street on Tuesday. The S&P 500 was flat at 2,463.


John Menzies (MNZS) is up 2.3% to 724p on underlying pre-tax profit increasing by 36% to £24.7m in the first half of 2017.

One of the biggest small cap fallers was social care provider Mears (MER). The firm said the tragic events at Grenfell Tower will impact the housing division as clients review commissioning and safety practices at their properties.

The stock slumped 6.7% to 445.5p.

Pawnbroker H&T Group (HAT) enjoyed a strong start to the year with a 62.2% increase in pre-tax profits to £6m, which was driven by a sales boost in all key segments. Shares in the firm accelerated 5% to 287.5p.

Marshall Motor (MMH) grew its underlying profit before tax by 32.9% to £18.6m in the first half of the year, helping shares in the automotive retailer accelerate 4.5% to 149.4p.

Casino games operator Jackpotjoy (JPJ) was up 2.8% to 685p following a 13% rise in first half revenue to £146.6m.

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