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Tesco shares fell around 4 per cent today morning despite the supermarket announcing record sales over Christmas period.

But shares in M&S fell as much as 7 percent on Thursday after it said comparable sales of clothing, homeware and food had all fallen in its fiscal third quarter, albeit not by as much as most analysts had forecast. This included a 3.7% rise in LFL sales of fresh food.

In the four weeks before Christmas Day Tesco enjoyed "record sales and volumes" and in the first week of December Tesco reported its biggest ever week of sales, outstripping the market by almost four per cent in fresh food.

Marks & Spencer reported better than expected sales of both clothing and food in the key Christmas quarter and said it was maintaining financial guidance for its full 2017-18 year.

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The company said its food business experienced ongoing trading pressures as consumer spending reflected tighter household budgets after wage growth during the second half of the year failed to keep pace with consumer price inflation.

"I would describe the consumer as quite fragile and quite volatile and if there's a reason not to spend they take it", M&S Chief Executive Steve Rowe told reporters.

The update sees the group join the list of festive casualties following recent profit warnings from the likes of Debenhams, Moss Bros and Mothercare.

In Clothing & Home, meanwhile, while revenue grew in-store and online in the weeks leading up to Christmas, the performance was hampered by an unseasonably warm October, which meant the retailer carried more stock into the December sale.

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Online sales at M&S.com lifted 3%, while its ongoing move to pull out of worldwide markets saw overseas sales slump 9.8%.

Like-for-like sales at Marks & Spencer (M&S) were underwhelming, dropping by 0.4%.

Mr Rowe said he was pushing on with his turnaround after speeding up plans in November to close under-performing clothing stores and slow expansion of its Simply Food chain. The engineering firm said that changes in US taxes will result in a one-off non-cash tax credit for 2017.

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