London Market Report

Search company or market
Search company or market:
Refresh this page Launch Marketwatch ticker
London | Wall Street | Asia

(Close): Shares in London edged higher on Wednesday, led by the home improvements company Kingfisher.

At the end of the day, the FTSE 100 was up 5.68 points, or 0.08%, at 6,834.68.

Kingfisher, the owner of DIY chain B&Q, was the strongest performer, notching up gains of 4.4%.

It announced that its chief executive Ian Cheshire would step down by next January, and would be succeeded by Veronique Laury. She is currently boss at the French unit Castorama.

Kingfisher also announced pre-tax profit of £364m in the 26 weeks to August, in line with market expectations.

"The new chief executive faces no easy task - France remains at the centre of the eurozone's difficulties, a recent slowing in UK house prices could take the shine of B&Q going forward, while management itself has pointed to a slowing Chinese property market," said Keith Bowman, analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, adding that today's management changes would be welcomed.

Barratt Developments was also 3% higher after it announced full-year profits doubled.

Shares in Sports Direct recovered from a sharp fall at the beginning of the session to end 1.7% lower after its latest trading update.

The company said group sales rose 12.2% to £711.2m for the 13 weeks ending 27 July 2014.

On the currency market, the pound was up 0.18% against the dollar at $1.6133 after big losses earlier this week, prompted by concern over the Scottish referendum. Against the euro, it was up 0.44% at 1.2504.