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Disappointing sales figures from the UK's largest supermarket chain weighed heavy on the London market yesterday, leaving a raft of blue chip retailers in the red.

Disappointing sales figures from the UK's largest supermarket chain weighed heavy on the London market yesterday, leaving a raft of blue chip retailers in the red.

Tesco shares dropped 5% after a lacklustre trading update, dragging down sector peers as investors spurned supermarket and retail shares.

The retailer's trading troubles combined with worse than expected European economic data to leave the FTSE 100 Index 53.3 points down by close, at 6650.2.

Tesco's shares lost 22.25p to 434.5p, after the company warned of slowing consumer spending and revealed like-for-like UK sales growth of 4.7% - lower than the 5.2% pencilled in by the City. Fellow retailer Marks & Spencer joined Tesco high up on the fallers board, off 17.5p at 670p, followed by Argos and Homebase parent Home Retail Group, down 6.75p at 454.75p, and supermarket Morrison down 3.75p at 301.25p.

Rival Sainsbury's - due to update on its own performance today - was also down, slipping 2.5p to 581p.

Telecoms stocks also faltered as mobile phone giant Vodafone fell 3.1p to 158.9p and Cable & Wireless lost 2.1p to 196.3p.

Confectionery and beverages giant Cadbury Schweppes' plans to cut 7,500 jobs worldwide, and close 15% of its confectionery sites, failed to impress investors. The shares were down 1%, or 6p, at 700p.

Holly Williams and Russell Lynch

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