UK’s top index in the red as housebuilders among fallers

27 February 2024, 10:34

Horizon 22
Horizon 22. Picture: PA

The FTSE 100, London’s blue-chip index, slipped 21.98 points, or 0.29%, to close at 7,684.3.

The UK’s top share index has got off on a weak start to the week with housebuilders among the fallers of the day after the competition watchdog raised concerns about the sector.

The FTSE 100, London’s blue-chip index, slipped 21.98 points, or 0.29%, to close at 7,684.3.

Major housebuilder Taylor Wimpey was among the biggest fallers of the day, while Persimmon and Berkeley Group also saw their shares move lower.

It followed the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) warning that the housebuilding sector needs “significant intervention” amid concerns over the quality of new homes, estate management charges and planning issues.

The FTSE 100 was also dragged lower by Ocado shares falling more than 6%, after The Times reported that its retail partner Marks & Spencer was withholding a multimillion-pound payout over missed performance targets.

Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst for IG, said: “The week has gotten off to a poor start in London, on an otherwise quiet day for corporate news.

“Ocado looks to be vulnerable to more selling as investors digest the impact of a spat with key partner Marks & Spencer, while a four-month low in iron ore and a major reversal in copper prices seems to spell more pain ahead for mining stocks.”

Elsewhere for European markets, Germany’s Dax edged up by just 0.02%, while France’s Cac 40 closed down 0.46% after beating record-high levels on Friday.

It was a slow start to trading over in the US with the S&P 500 relatively flat and Dow Jones up by about 0.1% by the time European markets closed.

The pound was flat against the US dollar to 1.268, and was down about 0.2% against the euro to 1.168.

A Wincanton articulated lorry
Logistics giant Wincanton has revealed it is being eyed by a second potential buyer (Alamy/PA)

In company news, shares in Wincanton leapt more than a tenth after it told shareholders it was being eyed by a possible second bidder, having previously agreed to be bought by French shipping specialist CMA CGM.

Wincanton said US logistics group GXO Logistics had approached the company over a possible bid but that it had not yet put forward a formal proposal. CMA CGM also raised its offer to value the business at about £605 million.

Shares in Wincanton were 12.3% higher when markets closed.

Elsewhere, shares in Bunzl fell after the outsourcing group flagged a slower-than-expected start to the year in the US, even though profit guidance remains on track for 2024.

The company also agreed to a deal to buy catering equipment firm Nisbets, adding to a string of recent acquisitions by the FTSE 100-listed group. Shares in Bunzl were down 2.9% at close.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Standard Chartered, up 29.4p to 635p, Admiral Group, up 47p to 2,580p, Pershing Square, up 70p to 3,930p, Intercontinental Hotels Group, up 152p to 8,752p, and Rentokil, up 6.2p to 435p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Ocado, down 36.9p to 491.5p, St James’s Place, down 25.2p to 617.8p, Hikma Pharmaceuticals, down 80p to 1,994p, Anglo American, down 59.4p to 1,726.6p, and Bunzl, down 96p to 3,210p.

By Press Association