- Real estate, housing stocks buoy markets
- Debenhams drops after gloomy Christmas update
- US data in focus later on
techMARK 2,781.38 -0.02%
FTSE 100 6,750.03 +0.28%
FTSE 250 15,900.19 -0.00%
The FTSE 100 held on to gains on Tuesday morning despite a trading update from Debenhams dampening sentiment amongst retailers, as markets were buoyed by strength in the real estate and housing sector
The Footsie, which is due to close at 12:30 this afternoon in a shortened trading session, was up 0.3% at 6,750 by midday. Stocks were recovering after snapping a six-day winning streak on Monday.
Several markets across Europe are enjoying a half day on Tuesday as traders head off early for their New Year's Eve celebrations ahead of a bank of holiday tomorrow. Germany's DAX benchmark, meanwhile, is closed for the whole day.
"It's not unusual for trading volumes to take a hit at this time of year, as traders spend time with their families instead of in front of their desk. There's also a severe lack of catalysts for the markets, with the economic calendar offering us very little and the start of corporate earnings season just under a couple of weeks away," said Market Analyst Craig Erlam from Alpari.
No major economic data is due to be released Europe-side, though a raft of US indicators will keep Wall Street traders busy later on, including the S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index, Chicago PMI and consumer confidence figures. US stock futures were pointing to a flat to slightly higher start in New York later on.
Debenhams fails to spread Christmas cheer
The share price of Debenhams dropped sharply this morning after the department store group warned that its bottom line would be hit by falling margins in the first half. The company is now guiding to a pre-tax profit of just £85m for the six months ending March 2nd, down 26% year-on-year and well below analysts' estimates.
Debenhams said it didn't experience the "anticipated final surge in sales" in the key week before Christmas and has had to make additional markdowns to clear stock in January and February. Next which is due to update the market on recent trading on Thursday, quickly erased early gains to trade lower after the Debenhams statement.
Other retailers, including Marks & Spencer, Kingfisher, Sainsbury and WH Smith were also firmly out of favour this morning.
Leading the upside were housing and real estate stocks with Persimmon, Hammerson, Land Securities and British Land making gains on the FTSE 100.
Second-tier peers Regus, Countrywide, Berkeley, Barratt Developments and Taylor Wimpey also headed higher this morning.
Vedanta Resources fell after saying that it has extended the employment contract of its Chief Executive Mahendra Singh Mehta by a further three months to give the board more time to find his successor.
Mining peers Anglo American, Antofagasta and Glencore Xstrata were also registering losses.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Persimmon (PSN) 1,242.00p +1.97%
Carnival (CCL) 2,509.00p +1.46%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 959.00p +1.37%
British Land Co (BLND) 629.00p +1.37%
Rexam (REX) 529.00p +1.34%
Hammerson (HMSO) 502.00p +1.27%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,868.00p +1.08%
Intertek Group (ITRK) 3,159.00p +1.06%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 1,352.00p +1.05%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 1,272.00p +0.87%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 433.10p -2.17%
Old Mutual (OML) 188.50p -1.05%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 827.00p -0.84%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 368.20p -0.78%
Kingfisher (KGF) 382.20p -0.75%
SSE (SSE) 1,361.00p -0.73%
Glencore Xstrata (GLEN) 314.10p -0.71%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,329.50p -0.67%
Tesco (TSCO) 334.35p -0.59%
Meggitt (MGGT) 526.00p -0.57%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Regus (RGU) 217.90p +4.36%
Countrywide (CWD) 585.00p +2.72%
Rathbone Brothers (RAT) 1,647.00p +2.68%
Howden Joinery Group (HWDN) 339.50p +2.32%
Alent (ALNT) 356.80p +2.06%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 112.10p +1.91%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 2,584.00p +1.89%
Rightmove (RMV) 2,713.00p +1.88%
IP Group (IPO) 170.00p +1.80%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 348.20p +1.69%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Debenhams (DEB) 74.20p -10.76%
PayPoint (PAY) 1,010.00p -4.99%
RPS Group (RPS) 337.50p -3.46%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 1,336.00p -3.05%
Rank Group (RNK) 132.00p -2.94%
Synthomer (SYNT) 248.20p -2.93%
KCOM Group (KCOM) 97.05p -2.85%
Diploma (DPLM) 680.00p -2.72%
ICAP (IAP) 447.90p -2.35%
Electra Private Equity (ELTA) 2,381.00p -2.10%