Sector movers: Oilers and miners lead the way
Resources sectors led the way higher in London on Tuesday, while the construction sector was among the main fallers.
BP and Shell were higher as oil prices remained elevated and analysts looked forward to another rise in quarterly earnings expected from global oil players, while copper prices bouncing off their lows lifted miners such as Antofagasta and Glencore.
On oil, analyst Michael Hewson at CMC Markets said: "Crude oil prices continue to be a cause for concern hitting a fresh three year high above $75, despite comments from Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh that there would be no need to extend the current pact of output freezes beyond this year.
"It is this move higher in crude oil prices, along with the rise in demand, that is helping fuel the recent rise in yields as well as the positive tone for equity markets, however if it continues too far we could start to see it act as a drag on equity markets, if prices along with yields start to move even higher."
On gold, broker SP Angel noted that safe haven demand was crimped, trading near five-week lows, by a strengthening dollar, rising US Treasury yields and receding geopolitical concerns. "Uncertainties surround trade-related issues could trigger risk aversion interest in gold, while major geopolitical events remain on the horizon."
Housebuilders were lower after fairly solid spring forecasts for the sector's output from the Construction Products Association. The CPA forecasts a flat outcome in 2018, before accelerating to +2.7% in 2019 and +1.9% in 2020.
With UK construction activity having got off to a slow start in 2018, after being negatively impacted by the snow and the liquidation of Carillion, analysts at Canaccord saw some positives in the report being in private new housing and infrastructure, where modest annual growth of 2-3% is expected in housing and stronger growth expected in infrastructure work.
"These stronger areas should offset sharp falls expected in commercial work with London office and retail weak; office construction is expected to fall by 30% over the next two years as international investors back-off. Residential RM&I work is expected to be flat overall until 2020, but with public housing RM&I enjoying a return of growth."
Top performing sectors so far today
Industrial Metals & Mining +1.81%
Oil & Gas Producers +1.57%
Personal Goods +1.26%
Forestry & Paper +1.14%
Leisure Goods +0.99%
Bottom performing sectors so far today
Electronic & Electrical Equipment -1.85%
Construction & Materials -1.57%
Fixed Line Telecommunications -1.24%
Travel & Leisure -1.20%
Household Goods & Home Construction -1.16%