FTSE Close: Next surges but JD Sports plunges as retailers paint mixed picture

The FTSE 100 closed up 0.5% at 7,723.07 points on Thursday, with gains led by clothing retailer Next after it reported strong Christmas sales. However, JD Sports Fashion tumbled after cutting its profit outlook amid weaker-than-expected growth over the holidays.

JD Sports plummeted 23%, after cutting its full-year profit guidance to between £915 million and £935 million, falling short of the £1.04 billion expected by markets. The retailer said sales were slightly behind expectations in the 22 weeks to December 30.

In contrast, Next rose 5.5% after issuing an upbeat trading update. In the nine weeks to December 30, Next’s full price sales grew 5.7%, exceeding its forecast of 2.0% growth.

Among other FTSE 100 stocks, oil giants BP and Shell rose 0.5% and 0.2%, respectively.

Meanwhile, FTSE All-Share, medical diagnostics firm Angle saw its share price surge over 120% after announcing positive results from its latest blood sample cancer trials.

The FTSE 250 ended up 0.2% at 19,372.05, and the AIM All-Share closed up 0.2% at 755.94.