MONDAY MARKET CLOSE: Builders tumble on house price data

Shares in Barratt Developments and Persimmon fell. Picture: Neil Hanna
Shares in Barratt Developments and Persimmon fell. Picture: Neil Hanna
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Builders led the London market lower after property website Rightmove said house prices were falling.

Shares in Barratt Developments were 9.4p lower at 354.2p and Persimmon slipped 29p to 1,246p as the news came on top of growing expectations of a hike in interest rates.

Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, said: “While Rightmove is but one of several house price data followers, it is the UK’s biggest property portal and its data comes hot on the heels of a sharper than expected rebound by consumer price inflation and further improvements in unemployment which suggest economic recovery have increased fears of a rate hike from the historic lows coming earlier than was previously thought, impacting the affordability of property purchases.”

In the FTSE 250, Crest Nicholson was 6.2p lower at 333.3p and Bellway fell 48p to 1,492p.

With traders still concerned over the latest escalation in tensions between Russia and the west, the wider market was also weaker. The FTSE 100 Index closed 21.01 points lower at 6,728.44.

However Tesco shares rallied as the departure of chief executive Philip Clarke proved sufficient to offset the City’s alarm over another profit warning.

Shares rose 3 per cent at one stage on hopes that Unilever’s personal care chief Dave Lewis can restore the fortunes of Britain’s biggest supermarket.

The stock retreated slightly later on to end the day 1 per cent or 3.7p higher at 288.7p. Rival Morrisons was one of the leading fallers in the top flight, shedding 4.3p to 173.7p, while Sainsbury’s was off 6.4p at 318.3p.

Meanwhile, shares in BSkyB were 13.5p lower at 904p after it acquired a 70 per cent stake in Love Productions, maker of Benefits Street and The Great British Bake Off.