* Vodafone falls 4.9 pct to take most points off FTSE
* M&S falls after warning of website issues
* Fall at M&S hits rival High St retail firms
* FTSE 100 down 0.7 pct
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, May 20 Sell-offs in mobile operator
Vodafone and retailer Marks & Spencer. dragged
Britain's blue-chip equity index lower on Tuesday, after
The benchmark FTSE 100 index was down by 0.7
percent, or 47.09 points, at 6,797.46 points.
Vodafone took the most points off the FTSE, falling 4.9
percent to 206.60 pence after it said core earnings would
decline in 2015 due to investment spending needed for its
Analysts at Societe Generale said the company's results were
lacklustre, but Strand Capital managing director Kyri
Kangellaris said Vodafone was a stock worth buying on the dip.
"There's no doubt that it's still a good company in the long
run. I'd look to pick some up if it fell down to the 200 or 195
pence level," he said.
Clothing and food retailer Marks & Spencer also fell 1.3
percent after it warned that a new website would take four to
six months to "settle in", affecting the performance of its
general merchandise business in the three months to end-June.
The fall in M&S impacted the shares of rival High Street
retailers, with Tesco falling 2.2 percent while WM
Morrison declined by 2.4 percent.
The FTSE 100, which is up by roughly 1 percent since the
start of 2014, hit its highest level in more than 14 years last
week but has since slipped back.
"We're stalling up at these levels. I see a bit of a
consolidation and then maybe the FTSE starting to drift lower
over the next couple of weeks," said Hantec Markets analyst
(Additional reporting by Francesco Canepa; Editing by Jeremy