FTSE 100 Live 29 June: Stocks in retreat, Bank of England and Federal Reserve central bankers at ECB Forum

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B&M sticks to guidance despite sales fall

Discount retailer B&M European Value Retail has reported a 9.1% quarterly decline in UK sales, driven by comparisons with exceptionally strong trading in April last year.

In the eight weeks covering May and June, however, the like-for-like sales performance was down 1.6% as the FTSE 100-listed retailer stuck by guidance for annual earnings in the range of £550 million to £600 million.

Shares rose 2.3p to 382p, with analysts at broker Liberum calling the first quarter update “as positive as we could have hoped for”.

They added: “The most recent trading in May-June is very encouraging. It should reassure that the sequentially improving trend for the rest of the year that is baked into management’s guidance is achievable.”

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Wall Street weakness hits markets, oil at $117

Weaker trading on Wall Street following a poor US consumer confidence reading has set the tone for a downbeat European session today.

Having climbed 1% yesterday thanks to support from stocks in the energy and resources sectors, the FTSE 100 index is expected to lose 50 points this morning.

Declines have already been seen in Asia, where the Hang Seng is down 1.8% and Tokyo’s Nikkei is 1.1% lower.

The pressure comes after the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.5% and the S&P 500 fell 2%, with the tech-focused Nasdaq down 3% on the latest blow to the growth outlook after US consumer confidence dipped to a 16-month low.

Oil fell back slightly overnight after three sessions of gains, with Brent futures down 0.8% at $117.

The main focus today will be on the interest rate comments of the panellists at the ECB Forum on Central Banking, including Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell and Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey.

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