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Marks & Spencer pushes FTSE higher



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FTSE 100 Index

Last Updated at 17 Nov 2017, 16:23 GMT *Chart shows local time FTSE 100 intraday chart
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Trader in London Image copyright Getty Images

(Close): Marks & Spencer was among the biggest risers on the FTSE 100 on the last day of trading before the Easter break after the retailer announced a rise in non-food sales for the first time in almost four years.

M&S ended 4.4% higher after like-for-like general merchandising sales rose 0.7% in the three months to March 30.

Bottling company Coca Cola HBC topped the risers, closing up 4.6%.

The benchmark FTSE 100 closed up almost 24 points, or 0.35%, at 6,833.46.

M&S saw overall sales rise by 1.9% over the quarter, with like-for-like food sales also up 0.7%. Online sales jumped nearly 14%, returning M&S.com to growth.

The biggest blue-chip faller was BHP Biliton, shedding 2.6%, while fellow miners Antofagasta and Anglo American also slipped 2.1% and 1.9% respectively.

Outside the main index, drug company BTG finished up 4.8% after raising its annual revenue forecast, while Telecom Plus was the top riser on the FTSE 250, adding 4.9%.

Electrocomponents shed almost 3.6%, leaving it as the biggest faller on the 250.

On the currency markets, the pound was down slightly against the dollar at $1.4844, while against the euro, it was down almost 1% at €1.3655.