FTSE 100 watch: Trump-Kim agreement fails to lift Footsie

Housebuilders pressure index after Crest Nicholson’s HY report

FTSE 100 watch: Trump-Kim agreement fails to lift Footsie

The UK benchmark index has fallen marginally into the red in today’s session, with an agreement between US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un failing to prop up sentiment. Housebuilders are proving a drag on the FTSE 100 today following a half-year update from smaller London-listed peer Crest Nicholson (LON:CRST).

FTSE 100 inches lower

As of 12:17 BST, Britain’s blue-chip index had given up 20.12 points to stand 0.26 percent lower at 7,717.31. Sentiment has been subdued today even as US President Donald Trump signed an agreement with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un aimed at denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

Housebuilders are currently weighing on the index, after Crest Nicholson reported that generally flat pricing and a backdrop of continuing build cost inflation had pressured its margins in the first half of its financial year.

“Markets were unimpressed with lack of a clear cost control strategy and with UK housing sector on the downturn it is not clear if the outlook for the housebuilder will improve substantially,” said Artjom Hatsaturjants, analyst at Accendo Markets, as quoted by Reuters. Berkeley Group (LON:BKG) is currently leading other FTSE 100 housebuilders lower, having given up 2.67 percent to 4,190.00p.

Individual movers

Shares in Centrica (LON:CNA) have been in demand after Jefferies lifted its rating on the stock, expecting industry regulator Ofgem to  adopt a ‘balanced approach’ when it brings in its new price cap on standard variable tariffs. The group’s shares are 2.70 percent up at 148.50p.

AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) meanwhile is 0.48 percent down at 5,342.00p after reporting that it had scrapped late-stage testing alongside partner Eli Lilly of a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

The FTSE 100 was 0.24 percent down at 7,718.94 points as of 12:30 BST on Tuesday, 12 June 2018.

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