MONDAY MARKET CLOSE: Cooler house prices ease rates fears

The market picked up its rally as traders noted there had been no worsening of the various geopolitical flashpoints over the weekend

Falling prices put an end to a strong run by property firms British Land and Land Securities. Picture: Ian Rutherford

The FTSE 100 Index, which had been help back in the previous session over fears that Russia and the Ukraine were on the brink of war, added 52.17 points or 0.8 per cent at 6,741.25 amid signs of cooling house prices.

Tony Cross, market analyst at Trustnet Direct, said: “The FTSE 100 mustered the energy to rise on Monday as investors put the threat of potential interest rate hikes on the back-burner, after data from property website Rightmove showed a record 2.9 per cent month-on-month drop in asking prices for homes across the UK in August.”

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The falling prices put an end to a strong run by property firms British Land and Land Securities. Both were on the fallers’ board, with British Land 6p lower at 724.5p and Land Securities also dropping 6p to 1,092p.

But the news was regarded as being better for builders, and Persimmon was 23p higher at 1,335p. It was boosted by figures from second tier rival Bovis Homes, which enjoyed a 150 per cent rise in pre-tax profits. Bovis’ shares added 36p or 4.5 per cent at 837.5p.

Elsewhere, Morrisons enjoyed a small improvement after its announcement that it is extending opening hours to try to take advantage of “dawn and dusk” shopping habits.

The beleaguered supermarket chain said it would introduce an extra 1,600 hours of trading a week, with 230 stores moving to between 6am and 11pm across the UK.

Shore Capital analyst Clive Black said the “modest” move was still “noteworthy” as the firm, which has also embarked on a round of price cuts, aimed to spark better sales figures. Shares climbed 1.9p to 175p.