It was a flat week for the M&C20, with 10 stocks up, 9 down and one unchanged - with the result that the index ticked down 0.2% to 1,119.

The FTSE All Share index, by contrast, crept up by 0.2% to end on 1,004, still well down on the leisure sector, but closing the gap for the fourth week running.

Punch Taverns was the star performer among the larger companies - its shares up 3.5% to 14.75p, their highest level since the M&C20 index began in May 2013. But the biggest increase came from Tasty, operator of the Wildwood and Dim T restaurant chains. It’s shares gained 9% this week to reach a new high of 107p, which is nearly 85% higher than this time last year.

There were modest, sub-1% gains for Greene King, M&B and The Restaurant Group, after recent sharper declines, but reverses for Wetherspoons, Enterprise, Spirit and Marston’s.

The latter issued a trading update on Tuesday, in which it revealed it would be accelerating its new-build pub programme thanks to an “encouraging” performance in the second half of its financial year. But analysts noted Marston’s tenanted pub estate was proving more difficult, and the company announced a quickening of its disposals programme.

Cineworld shrugged off news that the Competition Commission is forcing it to sell three cinemas, to gain 1% to 371.5p. Peel Hunt rated the stock as a ‘buy’, arguing that the impact of the ruling is likely to be less than 2% negative on EPS. “Trading since the half-year is likely to have been disappointing (largely because of the weather), but the medium to long-term prospects for the business remain attractive,” said analyst Nick Batram.

Domino’s Pizza slid by 3.1% after steady gains in the previous three weeks.