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FTSE, pound and gilts fall on Autumn Statement blow

FTSE, pound and gilts fall on Autumn Statement blow

Update: The FTSE 100, pound and gilts have fallen after chancellor Philip Hammond reported higher forecasts for borrowing and lower economic growth as the impact of the Brexit vote takes its toll.

Delivering the Autumn Statement, Hammond said Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecasts showed growth falling to 1.4% next year, versus the 2.2% that had been forecast in this year's Budget. Borrowing will meanwhile reach higher levels than previously forecast in the next five years, with the government no longer forecast to reach a budget surplus by 2020.

Hammond meanwhile revealed a range of heavy-spending infrastructure projects, such as a £2.3 billion housing infrastructure fund and £1.1 billion for transport investment. The pound dropped 0.4% to $1.237 against the dollar, while 10-year gilts fell, sending their yields from around 1.39% ahead of the speech to 1.45%.

The FTSE 100 fell into the red, reversing gains the index was enjoying ahead of the speech, dropping 27 points, or 0.4%, to 6,793.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) was among the biggest fallers, down 2.5% at 202.6p, as the OBR said the taxpayer was facing a £26.8 billion loss from its bailout of the bank and peer Lloyds (LLOY).

(8:21) Estate agents tumble on letting fees ban

Shares in estate agents have tumbled ahead of chancellor Philip Hammond's planned unveiling of a ban on letting fees in today's Autumn Statement.

Hammond's planned move, widely reported this morning, follows campaigning by the Labour party and Liberal Democrat peer Olly Grender. Research from Shelter has found that letting fees are on average £300 but can reach more than £500.

Shares in London estate agent Foxtons (FOXT) were the hardest hit, dropping 7.9% to 113p. Countrywide (CWD) fell 5.4% to 193.5p, Purplebricks (PURP) was down 4.4% at 110p and Savills (SVS) traded 1.5% lower at 676p.

The FTSE 100 moved higher, with miners leading the index for a second successive day, up 33 points, or 0.5%, at 6,852. Precious metals miners Fresnillo (FRES) and Randgold Resources (RRS) led the way, up 2.6% at £13.15 and 2.4% higher at £59.55 respectively. Glencore (GLEN) rose 2.4% to 289.3p and BHP Billiton (BLT) was up 1.8% at £13.48.

On the FTSE 250, Hunting (HTG) jumped 8.1% to 547.5p after analysts at Credit Suisse raised their rating on the energy services provider to 'outperform'.

Thomas Cook (TCG) was close behind, 7.8% higher at 79.2p after reporting 'encouraging' summer bookings, while Paragon (PARA) traded 3.4% higher at 374.1p after the lender revealed a 6.7% rise in full-year profits.

But the biggest move was to be found on the FTSE Small Cap index. Brammer (BRAM) surged 68.5% to 164.3p after private equity group Advent International swooped on the industrial parts distributor with a £221.5 million takeover, representing 165p per share.

Brammer urged its shareholders to accept the offer, saying it was 'fair and reasonable'.

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