FTSE 100 led higher by housebuilders as average UK house price hits record level

  • FTSE 100 rises 15 points
  • AstraZeneca dips despite positive outcome in ELEVATE-RR head-to-head trial
  • NetScientific tops the risers after deal with AstraZeneca

Proceedings in the London Stock Market have been more exciting than yesterday’s final day of the England/New Zealand test match … but only just.

The FTSE 100 has crawled 15 points higher to 7,084 thanks largely to demand for housebuilders following the release of the Halifax House Price Index for June.

Annual house price inflation is now at its strongest level in nearly seven years, the Halifax reported.

Yeah, tell me about it, retorted a whole generation of frustrated wannabe house buyers.

The average UK property price is at a record high of GBP261,743.

“House prices reached another record high in May, with the average property adding more than GBP3,000 (+1.3%) to its value in the last month alone. A year on from the first easing of national lockdown restrictions, and the gradual reopening of the housing market, annual growth surged to 9.5%, meaning the average UK home has increased in value by more than GBP22,000 over the past 12 months,” said Russell Galley, the managing director at the Halifax.

“Heading into the traditionally busy summer period, market activity continues to be boosted by the government’s stamp duty holiday,” Galley added.

Yeah, tell me about it, retorted a whole generation of frustrated wannabe house buyers.

“All UK regions bar the North East saw an acceleration in year-on-year house price inflation last month. The strongest growth was once again recorded in Wales (up 11.9% over the past year), closely followed by the North West and Yorkshire & Humber, both of which posted double-digit annual growth. For Wales and the North West, these are the biggest percentage gains since April 2005, and for Yorkshire & Humber since June 2006,” Galley revealed.

“The South of England, traditionally the driving force of national house price performance, is for once lagging somewhat behind the rest of the country. This is especially the case in Greater London, where average prices are still 3.1% higher than a year ago but growing more slowly than the rest of the country,” he added.

Is this what is meant by levelling up?

Away from the housebuilders, AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN) drifted lower by 0.9% to 7,981p, after releasing the results of a head-to-head comparison of its Calquence treatment for leukaemia.

The ELEVATE-RR head-to-head trial in previously treated patients showed less cardiovascular toxicity and fewer discontinuations due to adverse events for Calquence versus ibrutinib, AstraZeneca said.

The market metaphorically shrugged its shoulders but another piece of news involving AstraZeneca had a galvanising effect on the share price of NetScientific PLC (LON:NSCI), the backer of biotech start-ups.

NetScientific’s shares leapt 21% to 90.5p after its ProAxsis subsidiary struck a licensing deal with AstraZeneca over the validation and global commercialisation of an assay associated with coronavirus vaccines.

8.45am: Footsie building a lead brick by brick

The start to the week in London has been every bit as dull as expected, with the housebuilders dragging the Footsie into credit.

The FTSE 100 was up 12 points (0.2%) at 7,081, led by Taylor Wimpey PLC (LON:BDEV), which is up 2.4$ at 733.6p.

In fact, the top three performers on the Footsie are all from the housebuilding sector; has the Chancellor of the Exchequer extended the stamp duty holiday deadline again?


Offsetting the housebuilders are mining stocks, most of which are in retreat. Anglo American PLC (LON:AAL), down 1.8% at 3,197.5p, is retreating fastest after completing the demerger of its thermal coal operations in South Africa.

Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC (LON:RKT) edged up 0.3% to 6,508p after announcing the sale of its infant formula milk business in China for US$2.2bn.

UK supermarket giant Tesco PLC (LON:TSCO) was 0.6% firmer at 226.45p after it announced it would not extend its alliance with French supermarket giant Carrefour beyond the end of this year.

6.35am: Indecisive start expected as Yellen reignites interest rate debate

UK equities are set to make a hesitant start to the week after the latest Chinese trade data revealed export growth slowed more than expected.

Spread betting quotes point to the FTSE 100 edging a couple of points higher at the outset to 7,071 after US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said overnight she would not be averse to higher interest rates as they would signal the economy is on the mend.

Friday saw the release of the US jobs data for May and although the number of jobs additions fell a little short of expectations, the Dow Jones still rose 179 points to finish the week at 34,756 while the S&P 500 jumped 37 points to 4,230.

In Asia this morning, Japan’s Nikkei 225 is 103 points to the good at 29,044 but Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is down 223 points at 28,695 in the wake of the disappointing Chinese trade figures.

Exports in May were up 27.9% year-on-year (YOY), which was well shy of the 32.0% increase economists had expected.

“The main reason for the shortfall is that all export items related to semiconductor chips have slowed. Auto processing products and parts, the biggest export item, fell 4% YoY in terms of export value. This is most likely the result of the semiconductor chip shortage,” explained Iris Pang, the chief economist for Greater China at ING.

Imports were up 45.3% YOY, which Pang said was largely reflecting higher commodity prices as import volumes actually declined.

“This week’s highlights will be China Inflation data on Wednesday, and US Inflation data on Thursday, with an ECB rate decision thrown in for good measure,” reported Jeffrey Halley at OANDA.

“We actually receive a flood of inflation prints from around the world, but it’s the big three that really matter. It would take a massive upside surprise move the inflation arm wrestle in favour of the inflationistas. Given the stubbornness of the US yield curve to steepen, the risk, if anything, is that lower to on market prints see it flatten, which should be another boost for equities if we needed another one. The US Dollar would also suffer in this scenario,” he suggested.

In London today, the corporate cupboard is fairly bare, with prelims from Sirius Real Estate Ltd (LON:SRE) and interims from Redx Pharma PLC (LON:REDX) ostensibly the only trading updates scheduled.

Around the markets

  • Sterling: US$1.4145, down 0.11 cents
  • 10-year gilt: 0.795%
  • Gold: US$1,888.30 an ounce, down US$3.70
  • Brent crude: US$71.58 a barrel, down 31 cents
  • Bitcoin: US$36,254, up US$357

6.50am: Early Markets – Asia / Australia

Stocks in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed on Monday as China’s exports rose 27.9% in May as compared with a year earlier, lower than forecasts by analysts in a Reuters poll for a 32.1% year-on-year jump.

The Shanghai Composite in China slipped 0.07% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.54%

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.31% while South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.48%.

Shares in Australia dipped, with the S&P/ASX 200 trading 0.7% lower.


Proactive Australia news:

Okapi Resources Ltd (ASX:OKR) has started a drilling program at two priority targets within the Enmore Gold Project in north-eastern New South Wales.

Global Energy Ventures Ltd (ASX:GEV) (FRA:WS9) has started developing a pilot-scale compressed hydrogen (C-H2) cargo ship to capitalise on green hydrogen opportunities across Europe and the Asia Pacific.

Emyria Ltd (ASX:EMD) has revealed that clinical data from one of its personalised care plans for opioid users has been validated in a world-first data linkage project.

Kazia Therapeutics Ltd‘s (ASX:KZA) (FRA:NV9M) (NASDAQ:KZIA) phase-II study of paxalisib in Primary CNS Lymphoma has been initiated at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, with the first patient enrolled to the study.

QMines Ltd (ASX:QML) (FRA:81V) is well placed to benefit from the expected uptick in copper demand over the next decade, driven by electric vehicle makers and green environmental policies – particularly in Europe.

Platina Resources Ltd (ASX:PGM) (OTCMKTS:PTNUF) (FRA:P4R) is moving towards the exploration phase at Xanadu Gold Project after executing binding purchase agreements and commencement of tenement transfers.

Tempus Resources Ltd (ASX:TMR) (CVE:TMRR) (OTCMKTS:TMRFF) (FRA:4W0) has kickstarted a drilling campaign at its Elizabeth Gold Project in southern British Columbia, Canada.

FYI Resources Ltd (ASX:FYI) (OTCMKTS:FYIRF) (FSE:SDL) has adopted an environmental, social and governance (ESG) framework in a bid to improve shareholder outcomes from its kaolin and high purity alumina (HPA) assets.

South Harz Potash Ltd (ASX:SHP) non-executive director Len Jubber has demonstrated his confidence in the company’s potash strategy by purchasing shares in an on-market transaction.


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