Market Report: Housebuilders feel the effect of 'Super Thursday'

 

“Super Thursday” was just that for the FTSE 100’s housebuilders. With just one of the Bank of England’s rate-setters voting for a hike, the market decided that record low rates, and therefore cheap mortgage borrowing, would continue into at least early 2016.

That hurled Taylor Wimpey to 200.7p, a 4.5p rise. Close behind were Barratt Developments, up 10p at 651p, and Persimmon, which notched a 35p gain to close at 2,089p.

Other property companies also got in on the act. Shopping centre owner Intu Properties climbed 4.8p to 335.5p, while Land Securities was 13p higher at 1,330p.

The FTSE 100, up in the early afternoon following the central bank’s decision, ended 5.32 points down at 6,747.09, having succumbed to the poor form of the weighty mining sector. Glencore and BHP Billiton were among the culprits, falling 4p to 199.3p and 25p to 1,175.5p, respectively.

Back in positive territory, Tesco proved popular following a friendly note from analysts at Bernstein. The grocer, which rose 3.5p to 218.9p, “has made very solid progress on most priorities: competitiveness, balance sheet and trust,” they said.

Rival Morrisons survived a day on which farmers cleared the supermarket’s shelves of milk in a protest over price cuts. It even posted a 2.1p rise to 186p.

Insurer Old Mutual was near the top of the FTSE 100 after reporting a 25 per cent increase in first-half profits to £419m. It closed up 10.6p at 229.1p.

Defence group Cobham took the honours on the FTSE 250 after first-half profits jumped 17 per cent to £135m as a result of its acquisition of Aeroflex.

“Global defence markets are beginning to stabilise and Cobham has strong platform exposure,” Liberum said. Investors seemed to agree, sending it 17.2p higher to 279.7p.

One of the biggest casualties of the day was scandal-hit insurance outsourcer Quindell. Its shares resumed trading after a month and a half’s suspension, but there was no warm welcome given that the day before the Serious Fraud Office had opened a criminal investigation into the firm. The shares, listed on AIM, slumped 35.25p to 89.5p.

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