- Crimea votes overwhelmingly to rejoin Russia
- FTSE 100 bounces after three per cent fall last week
- Housing stocks gain on Help to Buy extension
- Vodafone to buy Ono for 7.2bn euros
techMARK 2,784.02 +0.68%
FTSE 100 6,552.67 +0.38%
FTSE 250 16,257.31 +0.82%
UK equities were making decent gains on Monday morning despite rising tensions between Moscow and the West after the Crimea region voted to once again become part of the Russian Federation.
The FTSE 100 was trading 0.4% higher at 6,553 early on, bouncing after a near-3% fall last week on the back of concerns over the Ukraine crisis and a slowdown in China.
Housing-related stocks were providing a lift on London's stock market after UK Chancellor George Osborne announced that he is extending the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme by a further four years.
The scheme, which has already given housebuilding activity a significant boost since its inception in 2013, will run for a further four years to 2020. The extension only applies only to new build homes.
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 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.
"At least for now it would seem the market has already discounted much of present risks, having sent stock indices to their monthly lows last week. Yet as with all ongoing geopolitical concerns, volatility is unlikely to die down completely," said Trader David White from Spreadex.
Housebuilders rise, Vodafone gains after Ono takeover
Housebuilding groups including Persimmon, Bovis Homes, Taylor Wimpey, Barratt Developments and Bellway were all performing well this morning after the Help to Buy extension announcement.
Building materials and equipment firms such as Ashtead, CRH and Premier Farnell were also on the rise.
Vodafone rose in early trading 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'.
Publisher and information services group Reed Elsevier was also lower after Berenberg lowered to stock to 'hold'.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Persimmon (PSN) 1,391.00p +5.94%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 917.50p +1.94%
Kingfisher (KGF) 409.20p +1.87%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 94.80p +1.72%
Glencore Xstrata (GLEN) 301.85p +1.63%
Whitbread (WTB) 4,302.00p +1.61%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,444.00p +1.48%
GKN (GKN) 378.90p +1.47%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 1,399.00p +1.45%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,312.00p +1.39%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Tesco (TSCO) 298.30p -1.78%
Diageo (DGE) 1,801.50p -1.07%
Reed Elsevier (REL) 905.50p -0.82%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 311.30p -0.73%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 206.60p -0.67%
Unilever (ULVR) 2,356.00p -0.63%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 3,206.50p -0.54%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,821.00p -0.53%
SSE (SSE) 1,416.00p -0.49%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 632.00p -0.47%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Bovis Homes Group (BVS) 903.50p +5.67%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 121.40p +4.84%
Bellway (BWY) 1,610.00p +4.21%
Kenmare Resources (KMR) 14.16p +4.12%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 428.80p +4.03%
Halfords Group (HFD) 472.50p +3.19%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 2,725.00p +3.14%
Inmarsat (ISAT) 695.50p +3.11%
Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 375.80p +2.90%
Inns (ETI) 152.90p +2.48%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group (JLT) 1,045.00p -1.97%
Xaar (XAR) 944.00p -1.62%
Serco Group (SRP) 430.20p -1.44%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 260.20p -1.44%
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 123.60p -1.44%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 194.40p -1.27%
Hellermanntyton Group (HTY) 320.50p -1.23%
KCOM Group (KCOM) 96.80p -1.07%
Essar Energy (ESSR) 66.00p -0.83%
Rank Group (RNK) 142.90p -0.76%