Market Report: Ted Baker hit by fears of a Christmas High Street exodus

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Christmas could well be cancelled for the High Street’s clothes retailers.

Ted Baker was the latest big name to be consumed by fears over disappointing Christmas trading, the most important time of the year for fashion retailers.

Less than a week after picking it out as one of the big festive winners, Jefferies cut its rating on the stock to hold and tipped the shares, which have surged 39% this year, to “pause for a breather”.

The broker warned that the mild winter weather, lots of discounting in the US and a further slowdown in Asia will knock Ted Baker’s momentum, prompting it to trim its annual pre-tax profit forecast to £58.6 million, in line with its peers’ predictions.

The move wiped 147.32p, or 4.6%, off the stock to 3035.68p.

Luxury brand Burberry, which has by contrast had a year to forget as China’s slowdown gathered pace, edged down 1p to 1196p as Nomura cut its target price to 1450p as the share price continues to retreat.

Shares in Marks & Spencer recovered 4.3p to 447.2p after a slump yesterday when Nomura predicted a staggering 5.5% fall in third-quarter like-for-like clothing sales.

A couple of hefty profit warnings from Game and Panmure Gordon aside, spirits were high and the FTSE 100 climbed 83.04 points to 6166.14, with traders speculating the wait could be over for the fabled Santa Rally.

The embattled miners again led the charge, with Glencore, Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto the top four risers, all up at least 4%. You feel this trend must continue if the Footsie is to continue its ascent until the New Year.

Investors injected 69.5p into AstraZeneca at 4468p as its gout drug received US regulatory approval, while they cashed in on Berkeley Group’s 46% gain in 2015 just in time for Christmas, dragging the housebuilder down 44p to 3622p.

G4S, which was relegated this week to the FTSE 250, firmed 5p to 224.5p as vague bid speculation involving private-equity groups stalked the security firm.

Over on AIM, leather handbags-to-wallets maker Pittards dropped 12p to 81p after it warned annual profits would be “materially below current market expectations”.

Fastjet shares recovered from yesterday’s nosedive, up 10p at 54.95p, as the budget African airline was given the all-clear to launch flights to Kenya.

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December 23, 2015 |
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