FTSE 100 watch: Footsie up as investors digest US tax bill

Leasehold policy proposal hits housebuilders

FTSE 100 watch: Footsie up as investors digest US tax bill

The UK benchmark index has climbed higher this Thursday, with sentiment upbeat after the highly-anticipated US tax bill was approved last night. Housebuilders, however, are pegging back the FTSE 100, following a government proposal to ban the sale of new leasehold homes.

FTSE 100 gains ground

As of 12:10 GMT, Britain’s blue-chip index had added 29.97 points to stand 0.40 percent higher at 7,555.19. Investors have been in a festive mood today, following the approval of the long-awaited tax bill in the US, which is set to result in tax cuts.

Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza owner InterContinental Hotels Group (LON:IHG) has been one of today’s most prominent Footsie risers after flagging benefits from the bill, including a significant, exceptional tax credit in the financial year the bill is signed into law. InterContinental’s shares are currently changing hands 1.76 percent higher at 4,687.00p.

“The FTSE 100 is regaining ground, following a rebound from the key 7,511 support level,” Joshua Mahoney, market analyst at IG, commented in a note. “That level represents the peak from last week, with a break back below crucial to highlighting that further downside is on the cards.”

The analyst reckons that an hourly close below the 7,511-point level would point towards a wider retracement, while an hourly close above 7,535 points “would signal a more bullish picture”.

Housebuilders suffer

Reuters notes that housebuilders have been sold off as the Department for Communities and Local Government proposed to reduce ground rents on new long leases to zero. Berkeley Group (LON:BKG) is currently leading the sector lower, having given up 1.35 percent to 4,153.00p.

The FTSE 100 was 0.40 percent up at 7,555.65 points as of 12:25 GMT on Thursday, 21 December 2017. 

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