Sector movers: Johnson Matthey leads chemicals higher, housebuilders take a beating
Chemicals were leading the charge into the green on the London bourse today, after Johnson Matthey announced the sale of its automotive battery systems business to US power company Cummins.
It also agreed to collaborate on developing the UK group's new high energy battery material.
As part of the deal, FTSE 100-listed JMAT said the deal would allow it to focus on developing high energy battery materials, including its class-leading enhanced lithium nickel oxide (eLNO) product, for transport applications within its overall technology portfolio.
Rolls-Royce led the aerospace sector higher, after confirming it has lured Tom Bell back from Boeing to lead its enlarged defence business in a further shake-up at the aerospace group.
Bell joined Boeing from Rolls-Royce in 2015 and is senior vice president of global sales and marketing for defence, space and security at the US company.
He will replace Chris Cholerton as president of defence as Cholerton moves across to head the civil aerospace division.
And in the two-horse electricity category, SSE was well into the black after it upgraded its estimate for annual earnings as the energy company reported progress in delivery of operations and returns from long-term investments.
In a trading update, SSE said it expected to report adjusted earnings per share of 116p to 120p for the current financial year.
In November it said earnings would be at least in line with analysts' consensus of 116p a share.
Housebuilders were a stark feature on the downside, with Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey, Barratt Developments and Berkeley Group all on the back foot following a report in The Times that property developers are set to lose planning permission on unused land if they fail to hit construction targets under moves to kickstart housebuilding.
Outsourcer Capita was also on its knees after a profit warning, leading support services lower.
Capita nosedived after it announced a rights issue for this year, shelved its dividend plans and warned over its 2018 profit.
Peers Serco and Mitie also suffered losses.
Top performing sectors so far today
Chemicals 14,708.75 +1.60%
Aerospace and Defence 5,011.20 +1.26%
Electricity 7,633.09 +0.83%
Real Estate Investment Trusts 3,058.71 +0.56%
Gas, Water & Multiutilities 4,771.72 +0.44%
Bottom performing sectors so far today
Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology 12,216.11 -2.08%
Construction & Materials 6,464.34 -1.83%
Household Goods & Home Construction 17,743.38 -1.69%
Support Services 7,856.19 -1.51%
Food Producers & Processors 7,812.76 -1.21%