FTSE buoyed by resilient Persimmon

The London Stock Exchange is seen during ther morning rush hour in the City of London April 11, 2011.  REUTERS/Toby Melville

Britain’s leading share index rose on Tuesday, helped by a rise in housebuilders after strong results from Persimmon suggested that the sector was coping with the uncertainty from Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.

Persimmon rose 4.2 percent, the biggest riser on the blue-chip FTSE 100, closing at its highest level since the UK voted to leave the European Union.

It reported a jump in reservations by buyers of new homes over the past two months despite some surveys suggesting the so-called Brexit vote could cool the housing market.

The company does not build in central London, where some surveys have found that prices of premium properties are falling the fastest.

“Less London exposure than peers looks to be paying off while current trends and outlook appear in line with recent property data,” said Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets.

“Like the rest of the FTSE, the company acknowledges ‘increased economic uncertainty’ in light of the referendum, but investors appear more focused on increased customer interest in Persimmon properties”.

Rival housebuilders Barratt Developments, Berkeley and Taylor Wimpey also rose, gaining between 4 percent and 4.9 percent.

The FTSE 100 was up 0.6 percent at 6,868.51 points, its biggest daily gain since August 11. It drifted back last week after touching 14-month highs in mid-August.

Miners were also among the leading gainers, up 2.3 percent to recoup Monday’s slide, helped by stabilising copper prices.

The sector was also helped by an upbeat note from Jefferies in which the broker upgraded BHP Billiton to “buy” from “hold”. BHP Billiton’s shares rose 4.4 percent.

“Demand has stabilized, supply is declining in most cases, balance sheets have strengthened due to FCF and asset sales, and valuations are inexpensive. Fundamentals have clearly improved,” analysts at Jefferies said in a note.

Grocer Tesco was another standout performer, up 4.3 percent after data from market researcher Kantar Worldpanel showed that British grocery sales edged 0.3 percent higher year on year in the 12 weeks to Aug. 14, with Tesco posting its slowest rate of decline in 6 months.

Among mid-caps, JRP soared 16.8 percent after the annuity provider provided an upbeat trading update, though the stock remains down more than 30 percent since the Brexit vote.


[Source: Reauters]