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ITV and Tesco see losses as FTSE 100 falls

ITV and Tesco were among blue-chips to suffer losses amid lacklustre trading that sent the FTSE 100 Index further away from its recent 14-year high.

An upbeat start to trading on America's Dow Jones Industrial Average failed to lift UK investor sentiment, despite encouraging US housing figures.

The FTSE 100, which fell on Tuesday amid concerns over the Chinese economy, was down by another 31.4 points at 6799.2 - having come close to a record high on Monday following a seven day winning streak.

Sterling remained unmoved, despite a breakdown of gross domestic product figures for the fourth quarter of 2013 showing a surge in business investment and boosting hopes of a re-balancing away from consumer spending.

As growth remained unrevised at 0.7%, the pound held largely firm at 1.66 US dollars and 1.22 euros.

Broadcaster ITV was one of the biggest fallers, in spite of results revealing a 27% rise in full-year profits to £581 million and promising shareholders a special dividend for the second year in a row.

Revenues lifted 9% to £2.4 billion as it continued to see growth from its production arm, which grew revenues by 20% to £857m.

Their programmes Mr Selfridge, Poirot and Hell's Kitchen US are sold to around 150 countries.

The share price fall of 2% or 4.6p to 201.5p followed strong gains for the share price in the last year, with Citi among firms now believing the stock is fully valued.

Other fallers included Tesco, as analysts calculated the impact of Tuesday's strategy update, when it pledged to invest £200 million on cutting prices.

It also vowed to review its profit margins in terms of pounds not percentage terms.

With signs of a recovery in sales still a long way off, Shore Capital said it was too early to recommend buying. Stock was 9.2p lower at 326p. Rival Sainsbury's was 4.6p lower at 345.5p and Morrisons slipped 4.6p to 235p as investors braced themselves for a price war in the sector.

Pumps and valve firm Weir, which supplies the oil and gas industry, was the biggest riser in the top flight as growing momentum in its order book prompted shares to rise 7% or 167p to 2519p.

In other corporate news, Greggs shares slumped 9% after it revealed a 19% drop in annual profits to £41.3 million and confirmed that investing in its turnaround was likely to constrain growth over the next two years.

Shares fell 48.5p to 481.5p.

The biggest FTSE 100 risers were Weir up 167p to 2519p, Wolseley ahead 57p to 3452p, ARM Holdings 15.5p higher at 991p and Imperial Tobacco 35p stronger at 2446p.

The biggest FTSE 100 fallers were easyJet down 91p to 1680p, Admiral off 43p to 1448p, Tesco 9.2p lower at 326p and Royal Bank of Scotland 8.4p weaker at 354p.

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