Housebuilder rally offsets slide in BP’s shares

The UK government admitted that England’s housing market is ‘broken’ ahead of its report that plans to pledge an increase in the number of new homes being built across the nation.

There will also be a renewed push to make renting more affordable and provide extra protection for tenants. The commitment to new homes helping several housebuilders rally on the blue-chip index, led by Taylor Wimpey (TW.) with a 3% advance to 175p.

The FTSE 100 rose 0.5% to 7,208 as the housebuilder rally offset a slide in BP’s (BP.) shares following disappointing results.

West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oil was 0.3% lower at $52.85 and $55.56 per barrel, respectively.

Gold and copper were flat at $1,229 per ounce and $5,842 per tonne.

On the high street, British consumers reined in their spending during January, according to the latest data from the British Retail Consortium.

This was worrying as it suggests that shoppers more cautious as last year’s Brexit vote pushed up inflation.

On Wall Street, investor sentiment was still subdued as US President Donald Trump continued to provoke opposition.

The Dow Jones and S&P closed Monday in the red, while stock markets in Asia failed to rally.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

Shares in oil major BP struggled after it warned it will only be able to balance its books at an oil price of $60 per barrel by the end of 2017 as it missed fourth quarter profit expectations.

It reported a decline in earnings for the second consecutive year to the lowest in at least 10 years, and said capital expenditure in the current 12 months was likely to be higher than previous guidance of $16bn to $17bn.

Pharmaceutical products distributor DCC (DCC) was the biggest corporate riser as it delivered another robust trading update. It also announced DCC Energy will acquire Esso Norge’s retail petrol station network in Norway for NOK 2.43bn.

British housebuilder Bellway (BWY) announced it plans to build 5% more homes this financial year after posting an increase in the number of properties it built over the last six months.

Volumes in the six months to 31 January rose 6.5% as housing completions hit 4,462.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

First Great Western operator FirstGroup (FGP) impressed investors as revenue improved across the board in the three months to 31 December.

Its First Rail division accelerated by 1.1% over the quarter, but upgrades to the network hit growth. In North America, revenue for its Greyhound intercity coach services rose by 1.2%, up from -2.5% in the year to date.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Online trading platform Plus500 (PLUS) achieved a record full year with strong revenue growth thanks to booming new customers and active users. The share price gained 8.6%.

Artemis Investment Management was the latest shareholder in oil explorer Ithaca Energy (IAE) to cast doubt on yesterday’s potential $524m takeover by Delek, according to reports. The investment firm was said to be disappointed about the deal for the North Sea oil producer.

A profit warning from embattled parcels business DX (DX.) sent the stock plummeting by 63% to 6.6p, which valued the firm below £15m. The firm struggled with ongoing ‘challenging trading conditions’, which put margins under pressure

Education software firm RM (RM.) sealed a deal to buy the Education & Care division of Connect on a £56.5m cash free, debt free basis.

DIY tool hire business Speedy Hire (SDY) reported a return to steady growth in the third quarter, as it revealed 10.6% growth on a like-for-like basis.

AIM-listed quarrying company Fox Marble (FOX) entered a $1.8m per annum sale and purchase agreement with Mahadev Marmo, causing the stock to gain 12.4%.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com