FTSE moves up slightly

Recent volatility in housebuilding shares continued today following the release of downbeat price data from building society Nationwide.

Recent volatility in housebuilding shares continued today following the release of downbeat price data from building society Nationwide.

The latest news, showing prices declined for a fifth month in a row, unsettled Charles Church owner Persimmon, which topped the FTSE 100 Index fallers board with a drop of 6% or 48.5p to 741p.

Stronger mining and oil firms ensured the Footsie achieved positive territory overall, with the top flight index ahead 5.1 points at 5722.6 by mid-morning.

Enterprise Inns led the risers after tax and legal advice indicated it should be in a position to covert to tax-efficient REIT status, boosting potential returns to shareholders. With trading also in line with expectations, Enterprise shares rose 10%, or 36.5p to 400.5p.

Elsewhere in the pubs sector, Punch Taverns lifted 4% – or 20p at 538.5p – amid relief over its decision not to pursue a potential merger with rival Mitchells & Butlers. The All Bar One owner recovered from a weak start to stand 3p higher at 332.5p.

Other notable moves during the session included British Airways, as investors started to fret about the level of cancellations being caused by a second day of problems at Terminal 5. Shares were off 3% or 7.75p at 239.5p.

As well as the falls for housebuilders, sentiment towards retailers was weak after the release of poor consumer confidence figures. Marks & Spencer dipped 3% or 11.25p to 397.5p, while Next was off 27p at 1171p and B&Q owner Kingfisher eased 2.9p to 127.5p.

In the FTSE 250 Index, Barratt Developments slipped 7% after broker Panmure Gordon added to pain in the sector by issuing a sell note on the stock, which fell 30.75p to 407.25p. Newcastle-based Bellway eased 38p to 847p and Redrow dipped 10p to 304.5p – offsetting gains seen yesterday.

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