Market Report: Investors take the money and run in housebuilding sector

Two players, Crest Nicholson and Berkeley Group, report earnings this week

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The Independent Online

The recent rally from the housebuilders was never going to last forever.

Investors have decided it is time to take the money and run after seeing shares in the sector rise as much as 30 per cent in value since the general election.

The Conservative majority put an end to much uncertainty for the industry, including a possible mansion tax and new rental caps which were being touted by the Labour Party.

Two players, Crest Nicholson and Berkeley Group, report earnings this week. Analysts are expecting a good set of results from both, but some in the City reckon the good run of form could soon come to an end.

Taylor Wimpey, down 5.4p to 183.4p, was the biggest blue chip faller, while Persimmon, down 43p to 1,927p, Barratt Developments, down 15p to 596p, and Bellway, down 53p to 2,343p, were also among the losers.

The FTSE 100 closed 74.4 points lower at 6,710.52, its lowest mark in three months as hopes of a debt deal for Greece evaporated after the latest round of negotiations.

“Irrespective of whom you believe, the fact remains the talks broke up in less than an hour, which gives an indication of the huge divide, and the growing lack of belief that an agreement is either possible or desirable,” CMC Markets’ analyst Michael Hewson said.

Greece’s negotiations with the IMF and the US Federal Reserve’s monthly meeting tomorrow are the main macro-economic themes likely to dominate investor sentiment this week.

Easyjet, down 36p to 1,550p, skidded to a halt after as downgrade from outperform to underperform from RBC Capital.

The broker said the airline suffered “a summer lapse” and predicts that profit growth has not just stalled but gone into freefall.

FTSE 250-listed Vedanta Resources, down 1p to 593.5p, unveiled plans to merge its Indian holding firm with its oil explorer Cairn India. The deal will allow debt-laden Vedanta, led by former Rio Tinto boss Tom Albanese, to tap into Cairn India’s cash resources.

On AIM, IT services provider Redcentric reported annual revenues of £94.3m, up from £58.3m the year before, which lifted the shares 5.5p to a record close of 163.5p.

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