Marks & Spencer's shares were boosted today after a leading City broker backed the retailer's prospects following a long period in the doldrums.
In a boost for chief executive Marc Bolland, Citigroup upgraded the FTSE 100 stock to buy from neutral and raised its price target to 535p from 470p, citing improved economic conditions and faith in management turnaround plans.
M&S was among the leading risers, up 6.8p to 478.5p, in a session when the FTSE 100 Index drifted lower, off 50.5 points at 6441.2.
Markets have been rattled by developments in Syria, with US Secretary of State John Kerry suggesting the administration is edging closer to a military response following "undeniable" evidence of a large-scale chemical weapons attack.
Mining and banking stocks were among the biggest fallers, with Eurasian Natural Resources down 9.3p to 214.3p and Royal Bank of Scotland off 9.6p to 334.7p.
Shares in security group G4S rose 2%, or 4.5p to 250.3p, on the eve of half-year results, when new chief executive Ashley Almanza is expected to outline plans for a radical overhaul of the troubled business.
As well as M&S, rival Next was 91.5p higher at 5007.5p after Bank of America Merrill Lynch raised its rating from neutral to buy and said its research showed that the retailer had been more price competitive in recent weeks.