LONDON (The Deal) -- European markets were trading lower again on Monday, as worries over potential new sanctions on Russia over its behavior in the Ukraine and Israel's continued operations in Gaza continued to weigh on investors' strategies.
But in London, the bigger focus was on the supermarket sector. Britain's biggest retailer Tesco led the risers, as the sudden, if not entirely unexpected, departure of CEO Philip Clarke and the appointment of Unilever's head of Personal Care, David Lewis raised hopes of a turnaround. Lewis is the first outsider to head the company in its 95-year history. Hopes that he can dig the company out of the hole it's fallen into between the German discount retailers Aldi and Lidl and its slightly more upmarket rivals J. Sainsbury and Waitrose now rest on his ability to look at its troubles with a fresh eye. Tesco was up 2.8% at 291.20 pence in late morning trading. But Sainsbury's was down 1.2% at 320.8 pence on the read-across, while the struggling No. 4 in the sector, William Morrison, was the biggest faller in the FTSE100, down 2.02% at 174.4 pence.
The home-building sector also took a hit on a survey from the U.K.'s biggest online real-estate agency Rightmove showing a slowdown in house price growth in June. Despite the news that Tesco intends to divert some of the land originally intended for new supermarkets to build 4,000 homes, Barratt Developments fell 1.65% to 357.6 pence.
In Amsterdam, electronics group Philips (PHG) was down 3.3% at 23.0 euros after disappointing results, while telecoms group KPN was up 1.4% at 2.4 euros after announcing the appointment of former Dutch finance minister Kees de Jager as finance director.
In London, the FTSE 100 was down 0.28% at 6,731, in Paris the CAC 40 was down 0.27% at 4,324 and in Frankfurt, the DAX was down 0.64% at 9,657.96. In Moscow, the MICEX index was off 1.41% at 1,402.49. Tokyo was closed for a public holiday.