Shares down as Wal-Mart cuts August forecast

US retail giant Wal-Mart has cut its monthly sales forecast for August, prompting share prices to fall in several key US retail companies.

The retailer predicted sales would grow by between 0 and 2 per cent, instead of the 2 to 4 per cent previously forecast.

The retailer blamed the drop on disappointing back-to-school sales, as well as the recent Florida hurricane, which forced the temporary closure of 75 stores across the state and the southeast of the country.

Wal-Mart has also confirmed it is interested in taking a stake in struggling Japanese retailer Daiei. The group has hired Goldman Sachs and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein to investigate investment opportunities in Daiei.