FTSE 100 movers: Miners sink as housebuilders stay green
The FTSE 100 was holding near its worst levels of the session on Friday afternoon, with traders still on edge and very wary heading into the weekend break due to the tense geopolitical situation in the Northern Pacific.
Local concerns were also weighing on markets, after Michael Saunders of the Monetary Policy Committee told the Evening Standard that Brexit would likely crimp the UK economy over the longer-term.
According to Saunders, Britain's gross domestic product may grow five percentage points less over the next 15 years.
Financial services group Old Mutual was on the downside, after it posted a sharp 37% rise in adjusted pre-tax profits to £969m, helped in part by £108m of proceeds from the sale of its OMAM unit - although it did incur in a goodwill impairment charge of £71m linked to UAP-Old Mutual in East Africa.
On an IFRS basis profits before tax surged from £534m in the year-ago period to £940m, for earnings per share of 10.6p, with the latter up by 33%.
Despite that, its net asset value per share decreased from 228.6p to 220.1p. In line with its stated policy on payouts, the interim dividend was increased by 32% to 3.53p.
Miners were also on the wrong side of the index, with Anglo American, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Antofagasta and Glencore the five top fallers in early afternoon trading.
They were all pushed down by a stubbornly strong dollar, although there was a silver lining for those with fingers in the gold extraction pies, as the precious metal’s price remained firm as investors clambered for safe havens.
On the upside, one of the Coca-Cola Company’s largest bottling partners Coca-Cola HBC was ahead, still riding the wave of positivity after it posted solid first-half growth on Thursday with volume rising 1.4% to 1.02bn unit cases, while net sales revenue was ahead 5.6% at €3.21bn.
The firm said net sales revenue per unit case was 4.2% higher year-on-year for the six months to 30 June, at €3.15, while on an FX-neutral basis net sales revenue was up 5.7% and per unit case net sales revenue was 4.3% firmer.
Companies with an interest in residential construction were also at the green end of the index, with housebuilders Barratt Developments and Persimmon well into the black, joined by construction machinery firm Babcock International.
That was after an Oxford Economics study released during the session suggesting the British housing market was “running out of steam”.
The report, while pointing to several factors as contributing to a slowdown in house price growth, did note that record low mortgage rates and interest burdens were still providing a hefty prop to the market.
That implied that the historic triggers of a price crash were absent, indicating a “sustained period” of subdued growth.