One of the star performers of 2012 suffered a new year hitch yesterday after a disappointing Christmas trading update.
Debenhams posted like-for-like sales growth of 5%, but this came at the expense of margins, as competitive trading conditions forced it into price cuts of up to 50% on some products.
Having risen by more than 90% last year, Debenhams shares succumbed to profit-taking yesterday, with the stock down almost 8%, or 9p to 108.1p, in the FTSE-250 Index.
In the top flight, the FTSE-100 Index fell 11 points to 6053.6, as it emerged unemployment in the eurozone hit a record high of 11.8% in November.
The pound was down against the US dollar and the euro at 1.60 and 1.22 respectively, amid weak UK construction and services data last week.
Mobile phone giant Vodafone was among the top blue-chip risers, up 2.8p to 162.4p, after the boss of Verizon Communications discussed the possibility of buying the UK company's 45% stake in Verizon Wireless.
Miner Anglo American rose after investors reacted positively to the company's appointment of Mark Cutifani as chief executive to replace Cynthia Carroll at the end of April. He is the boss of South Africa's AngloGold Ashanti. Shares were 1.4% higher, up 27.5p to 2028p.
Shares in Royal Bank of Scotland continued to rise yesterday after proposals aimed at ensuring firms can survive a short-term crisis were softened by regulators. Shares were up 1% yesterday, ahead 3.1p to 337p.
Sainsbury's was the best performing stock in the supermarket sector after till roll figures from Kantar Worldpanel said the chain was the only retailer to increase its market share compared with last year. Its share price rose 7.3p to 339p.
Rival Tesco was also on the risers board after the figures pointed to a further recovery. Shares were up 2.2p to 351.5p. Morrisons, which saw its market share decline to 12% in the 12 weeks to December 23, was down 2.8p to 253.3p.
In a busy session for trading updates, out-of-town homewares chain Dunelm forecast more profits growth today after seeing sales continue to outperform the homewares market.
But shares fell 1p to 710p amid signs of a slowdown in same-store growth.
Revenues at Housebuilder Persimmon grew 12% to £1.7 billion in 2012, helped by a 6% rise in sale completions to 9903 homes. But shares were lower after it emerged chief executive Mike Farley will step down in April, to be replaced by north region boss Jeff Fairburn. Shares were down 1p to 836p.