LONDON’S listed housebuilders were the main winners from yesterday’s Budget, with shares jumping at the prospect of a huge taxpayer injection into the mortgage market.
Barratt Developments and Taylor Wimpey both added more than 6 per cent on the announcement of a “Help to Buy” scheme, at 255.6p and 90.9p respectively.
The move also helped estate agency Countrywide get off to a robust start on its stock market comeback, as it was valued at more than £800 million on flotation. Shares in the group began conditional dealings at 350p a share before rising 13 per cent to 397p.
The wider market had a difficult day amid ongoing uncertainty over the latest eurozone crisis in Cyprus and the downgrade to UK growth forecasts. Toby Morris, senior sales trader at CMC Markets UK, said: “European equity markets have largely shrugged off the rather predictable rejection of a bank deposit levy from Cypriot lawmakers to post moderate gains.
“In the UK, the mood has been less optimistic. Traders gave a muted response to George Osborne’s Budget statement and a response from Ed Miliband that bordered on the ridiculous.”
The FTSE 100 closed 8.6 points lower at 6,432.7, although the Aim UK 50 index cheered 49.8 points at 3,520.7 in response to the abolition of stamp duty on the small cap market.
Marks & Spencer shares lost some of their recent takeover strength after analysts at Nomura estimated that clothing sales declined by a double-digit percentage figure in the four weeks to 17 February. The shares fell 5.7p to 392.4p.
Royal Bank of Scotland rose 6.6p to 300.2p as Liberum Capital backed chief executive Stephen Hester’s turnaround efforts by recommending that investors now buy shares in the part-nationalised bank.
NEW YORK: US stocks rose yesterday as the Federal Reserve reassured investors that it would keep supporting the economy.
The Fed is sticking to its $85 billion monthly bond-buying stimulus, citing still high unemployment levels, but said it would take into account the possible risks of its policies. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 55.91 points to 14,511.73, after rising as high as 14,546.82.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 3 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: West