Tesco announced a 92 percent slump in half-year profits, which gave rise to concerns about the health of the supermarket sector as a whole. Investors were cheered briefly by positive euro-zone data, but this news was not strong enough to bolster the markets.
Tesco's shares are currently trading at a more than ten-year low. The supermarket chain worried analysts and investors by refusing to give full-year results guidance because of the continued confusion over the profits over-statement that occurred recently.
Another major loser was Unilver. The consumer goods maker reported disappointing underlying sales growth, and as a result saw its share price slip by almost four percent. The struggles at Tesco may have had an impact on Unilever's share price, because both companies are affected by the slide in UK consumer spending.
Tesco reported that the problem with consumer sales relates to more than just the current year, and that there could be ongoing damage to the chain's profits. This announcement led to a slip in share prices at Sainsbury's and Morrisons, and also affected Premier Foods, the company behind Oxo and Mr Kipling.
One of the few retailers to profit was Debenhams. The clothing store reported a 24 percent fall in full-year profits, but investors remained optimistic after the report indicated that there had been recent signs of improvement in sales thanks to a change in the brand's promotional strategy.