Retailer The sportswear chain, which is controlled by Newcastle United owner and Rangers investor
Investors paused for breath on the
Investors digested figures showing while unemployment continued to fall - to 2.34 million in the final quarter of last year the jobless rate rose to 7.2%.
Economists said the rise in the rate bolstered the Bank of
Meanwhile, minutes of the Bank's last rates meeting confirmed its view that rates should remain on hold to cement the recovery and indicated unanimous support for its second phase of forward guidance, despite no vote being held on the policy.
The pound held firm even though unemployment figures boosted the case for rates to remain on hold. Sterling clung to its four-year high against the US dollar, at
In a strong session for retailers
Jefferies said the retailer's new site was "impressive" as it upgraded the stock from hold to buy, helping M&S shares lift 4.7p to 501p.
It said the terms of the agreement were broadly consistent with the company's previous trading outlook for 2013, but shares closed 0.8p lower at 436.8p.
The group posted an 18% hike in profits to pound(s)38.1 million in the six months to the end of December and said it had secured a pound(s)400m refinancing deal to help fund expansion as it predicts the property market will continue to improve. Shares rose 4% or 48p to 1215p.
Stock markets around the world fell yesterday, with declines accelerating after minutes from a US Federal Reserve policy meeting showed members supported continued tapering of the central bank's bond-buying programme barring a significant change in the economy.
The dollar rose following the release of the minutes from the Fed's last policy meeting, while gold prices fell for a second day.
At the meeting, the Fed decided to make a second modest cut to its bond-buying program, which runs at
"This market is trading at nosebleed levels and so it will not have a huge tolerance even for news that can be shaded in a bad direction," said
Recent US data, including figures on the housing and labour markets, has come in below forecasts, though many analysts chalked the weakness up to severe winter weather.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 89.84 points, or 0.56%, at 16,040.56. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 12.01 points, or 0.65%, at 1,828.75. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 34.83 points, or 0.82%, at 4,237.95.
The CBOE Volatility index, often referred to as
The benchmark 10-year US Treasury note was down 6/32, with the yield at 2.732%.
The sportswear chain, which is controlled by Newcastle United owner and Rangers investor