Shares in Marks & Spencer tumbled 94.25p to finish on 409.25p yesterday after the retailer reported disappointing Christmas trading figures.

Like-for-like food sales for the 13 weeks to 29 December fell 1.5%, with UK like-for-like sales down 2.2% and general merchandise down 3.2%.

The fall wiped more than £1.7bn off the value of the company amid concern M&S would fail to hit full-year pre-tax profit figures above £1bn.

Analysts also questioned whether M&S' performance would prompt the Bank of England to lower interest rates today.