Thursday market close: Trump tax fallout knocks back Footsie

Trading screens in London. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

Trading screens in London. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

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Britain’s benchmark share index took a tumble as sterling touched a six-month high against the dollar after investors were left underwhelmed by President Donald Trump’s tax plans.

The FTSE 100 closed down 51.55 points or 0.7 per cent at 7,237.17, while the pound enjoyed an uplift on the greenback’s weakness in response to a lack of detail outside Trump’s broad pledge to slash corporation tax to 15 per cent.

The UK currency was also making gains against the euro after the European Central Bank kept its stimulus programme and interest rates unchanged, despite conceding that the eurozone economy is becoming stronger.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: “European markets are experiencing what can only be described as a post-tax reform hangover, and as with all hangovers investors should really have seen this one coming.

“Weakness in oil and commodity prices has weighed on the FTSE 100, while European markets shrugged off a European Central Bank that was less than effusive about the recovery in the euro area.”

Among stocks, housebuilder Persimmon raced ahead after a healthy trading update that revealed an 11 per cent surge in forward home sales since the start of the year.

Shares rose more than 2 per cent, or 54p to 2,340p, after the Charles Church group said total forward sales, including legal completions, had leapt to £2.6 billion in the year so far, up from £2.3bn a year earlier.

The major top flight risers included Mediclinic International, up 128p to 859p, Kingfisher up 9p to 335.8p and Lloyds up 1.6p at 68.97p.

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