FTSE 100 watch: Footsie little changed despite US-China trade hopes

on Feb 25, 2019
Updated: Mar 11, 2020

The UK benchmark index has been little changed in today’s session, finding support in hopes for the US-China trade relations. A drop in housebuilders, however, is weighing on the FTSE 100, amid worries that Persimmon (LON:PSN) might lose contracts under the government’s Help to Buy scheme.

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FTSE 100 little changed

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As of 12:25 GMT, the Footsie had given up 5.16 percent to stand 0.07 percent lower at 7,173.44, having traded marginally higher earlier in the session. Sentiment around the world has been upbeat today after US President Donald Trump signalled that he would delay an increase in tariffs on imports from China, pointing to ‘substantial progress’ in the trade talks between Washington and Beijing.

At home, Prime Minister Theresa May has delayed a vote in parliament on her Brexit deal with the European Union until March 12. Reuters reports that lawmakers see her move as a tactic to get more MPs to back her proposed deal, which has already been rejected once, in an attempt to avoid a split from the EU without an agreement.

Blue-chip fallers

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A fall in housebuilders meanwhile is weighing on the index, after reports suggested that housing secretary James Brokenshire was reviewing Persimmon’s participation in the government’s Help to Buy scheme. The group’s shares are six percent worse off at 2,320.00p, while Taylor Wimpey (LON:TW) and Barratt Developments (LON:BDEV) are down by 2.51 percent and 1.91 percent, respectively.

Elsewhere on the FTSE 100, Associated British Foods (LON:ABF) is also underperforming the market after reporting that it expects to deliver interim earnings broadly in line with last year. Shares in the Primark owner are currently changing hands 1.74 percent in the red at 2,272.66p.

The FTSE 100 was 0.23 percent down at 7,162.23 points as of 12:58 GMT on Monday, 25 February 2019.

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