© Reuters. A man shelters under an umbrella as he walks past the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain, August 24, 2015. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/File Photo
By Shashank Nayar and Amal S
(Reuters) – London’s FTSE 100 ended higher on Tuesday, led by mining and retail stocks, while rising cases of a new COVID-19 variant in Europe and Asia stoked fears of a slower economic recovery.
Homebuilders advanced 0.8% and were among the top gainers after mortgage lender Nationwide said British house prices rose by 13.4% in June compared with a year earlier, the biggest annual increase since November 2004.
“The key issue is whether we’re at the peak of the activity as buyers rush to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday which starts to taper from the start of July,” Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said.
The FTSE 100 has gained 0.9% so far this year, although new coronavirus variant cases and inflation worries have kept the index range-bound recently near its 7,000 level.
“In terms of what it has done to the stock market, it hit the airlines a little bit and benefited “stay at home” stocks,” said Keith Temperton, equity sales trader at Forte Securities.
Global sentiment weakened, with most Asian stock markets trading lower on concerns that new coronavirus outbreaks in the region could undercut an economic recovery. [MKTS/GLOB]
The domestically focussed mid-cap index ended flat.
Barratt Developments (LON:BDEV) gained 0.4% after naming Mike Scott as its chief financial officer. Scott is at present finance chief at Countryside Properties.
UDG Healthcare inched 0.3% higher after it confirmed that private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice had raised its offer to buy the London-listed firm to 2.76 billion pounds ($3.83 billion).
Miners, retail fuel FTSE 100 as rising COVID cases cause concern
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