- Crimea votes to rejoin Russia
- Russia-West tensions high after referendum
- Housebuilders rise on Help to Buy, housing data
- Glencore Xstrata leads miners higher, Vodafone gains
techMARK 2,783.12 +0.64%
FTSE 100 6,551.58 +0.36%
FTSE 250 16,237.65 +0.70%
UK stocks were performing well on Monday as investors shrugged off heightened geopolitical tensions in the aftermath of the Crimea referendum, with the FTSE 100 bouncing after six straight days of losses.
The six-day sell-off, sparked by concerns over the Ukraine crisis and a slowdown in China, saw London's benchmark index lose 4% of its value.
However, a decent showing by housing stocks, miners and heavyweight telecoms firm Vodafone helped the FTSE 100 to gain 0.4% to 6,552 by midday.
As expected, an overwhelming majority of Crimeans voted in a referendum on Sunday to rejoin Russia, even while the US and Europe promised not to recognise the outcome.
Approximately 96% of the population of Crimea voted to separate from the Ukraine and join Russia with only about 3.5% having chosen to remain part of the country, but with more autonomy. No option was given to remain a part of the Ukraine with the constitution unaltered.
The US already officially declared the referendum to be illegal and President Barack Obama promised that the vote would never be recognised by the US or the international community.
"That the markets have made a positive start to the week does not detract from the threat of further unrest in Ukraine as attention now turns towards the Eastern border with Russian, and markets take stock to consider the impact of a protracted dispute that is unlikely to be settled anytime in the near future," said Nicholas Dale-Lace, Senior Sales Trader at CMC Markets.
Housing and mining stocks gain
Housebuilders including Persimmon, Bovis Homes, Taylor Wimpey, Crest Nicholson and Grainger were making gains after UK Chancellor George Osborne announced that he is extending the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme by a further four years.
Meanwhile, investors were also responding to Rightmove data which showed that asking prices for homes in the UK rose by 1.6% month-on-month in March to hit a new record high of £255,962.
Building materials and equipment firms such as Ashtead, CRH and Premier Farnell were also on the rise, along with DIY retailer Kingfisher which was given an extra lift by a target price upgrade from Credit Suisse.
Mining stocks were also performing well with Glencore Xstrata among the highest risers on the back of speculation that it is close to announcing a multi-billion dollar
transaction to sell its Las Bambas mine.
Others including Anglo American, Kenmare Resources and Polymetal were also higher. Polymetal received a boost from Canaccord Genuity which raised the stock to 'buy' after lifting its assumptions for gold prices over the medium and long term.
Vodafone rose after agreeing to buy Grupo Corporativo Ono, Spain's largest next-generation network, for €7.2bn. The deal is said to complement Vodafone Spain's network and will expand the company's reach in the European market.
Supermarket giant Tesco was in the red after Bank of America Merrill Lynch cut its rating on the shares
from 'neutral' to 'underperform'. Sainsbury and Morrison were also down.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Persimmon (PSN) 1,368.00p +4.19%
Glencore Xstrata (GLEN) 305.25p +2.78%
Kingfisher (KGF) 412.00p +2.56%
G4S (GFS) 234.60p +2.27%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,453.50p +2.14%
Sage Group (SGE) 410.60p +1.86%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 225.95p +1.71%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 94.75p +1.66%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 838.50p +1.64%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,086.00p +1.50%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Tesco (TSCO) 297.90p -1.91%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 308.50p -1.63%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 3,186.50p -1.16%
Diageo (DGE) 1,803.50p -0.96%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 4,816.00p -0.64%
National Grid (NG.) 820.00p -0.55%
Capita (CPI) 1,103.00p -0.54%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 206.90p -0.53%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 298.20p -0.43%
Unilever (ULVR) 2,362.00p -0.38%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Polymetal International (POLY) 610.00p +7.11%
Kenmare Resources (KMR) 14.47p +6.40%
Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 383.30p +4.96%
Bovis Homes Group (BVS) 895.00p +4.68%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 804.50p +3.94%
Inmarsat (ISAT) 698.50p +3.56%
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 311.50p +3.42%
Pace (PIC) 475.40p +3.33%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 425.40p +3.20%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 119.50p +3.20%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Genus (GNS) 1,050.00p -3.40%
CSR (CSR) 719.50p -2.04%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 193.10p -1.93%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 259.40p -1.74%
Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group (JLT) 1,052.00p -1.31%
Essar Energy (ESSR) 65.75p -1.20%
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 123.90p -1.20%
Synthomer (SYNT) 261.90p -1.13%
Serco Group (SRP) 432.00p -1.03%
Partnership Assurance Group (PA.) 317.60p -0.75%