FTSE narrowly avoids a June dip as builders slip

The FTSE 100 narrowly avoided breaking four straight months of gains on Wednesday as its financial houses and housebuilders led the index lower.

London’s top index ended June at 7,037 points, compared to the 7,023 where it ended May.

It was nearly the first time since January that the index lost ground over a month.

The index has still not recovered from the Federal Reserve-sparked sell off that happened in the middle of June and pushed it off 16-month highs.

On Wednesday lost ground again, dipping 50 points.

The 0.7% fall was led in part by building companies and financial blue chips.

Builders including Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon had gained ground on Tuesday after the news that house prices were soaring at their fastest rate in nearly two decades.

But the stocks gave back some of that ground on Wednesday.

Prudential and Intermediate Capital Group ended the day in the index’s bottom five.

By the close of play in London, both main US indexes were trading up.

The S&P 500 had gained 0.1% and the Dow Jones 0.4%.

In Europe, the Dax index dipped 1% and the Cac closed 0.9% lower.

Sterling remained relatively flat against its major competitors.

By the end of the day a pound could buy 1.3809 dollars or 1.1647 euros.

The price of Brent crude oil rose 0.4% to 75.04 dollars per barrel.

In company news, shares in Dixons Carphone jumped nearly six per cent after the business said that it had swung to a £33 million pre-tax profit in the year to May 1.

It lost £140 million in the prior 12 months.

Pendragon also revealed that it will swing from loss to profit thanks to increased demand in the last two months.

But the business also warned there is a shortage of new vehicles and its shares only rose 0.4%.

Esken said that it is only days away from securing a £120m loan to help fund Southend Airport.

Shares rose 4%.

M&C Saatchi saw its share price rocket more than 8% after lifting its financial guidance, with pre-tax profit for the first half of the year expected to exceed £10m.

Further good news came from Cake Box, up 2.8%, which reported an increase of close to one eighth in its pre-tax profit.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Compass Group, up 28.5p to 1,522p, Sainsbury’s, up 3p to 271.8p, Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, up 10p to 1,331p, Intercontinental Hotels Group, up 26p to 4,810p, and Next, up 34p to 7,856p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Prudential, down 51.5p to 1,373.5p, United Utilities, down 20.2p to 592p, Intermediate Capital Group, down 65p to 2,124p, Ocado, down 59p to 2,003p, and Just Eat Takeaway.com, down 183p to 6,692p.

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992