“The FTSE100 continued its bull run with the blue-chip index rising into uncharted territory on strength in UK house builders. Investors will have an eye on UK services data out mid-morning and the European Central Bank's monetary policy meeting accounts,” says AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould.
“Fears of a slowdown in the housing market following the Brexit vote have been dispelled by house-builder Persimmon with sales since the referendum 15% up on the previous year. Revenues for 2016 were 8% higher at £3.14bn with average prices up by 4% at £206,700. Sales reservations throughout the autumn season remained strong with healthy demand for new homes supported by competitive mortgage offers. Persimmon was one of the FTSE100’s top risers, up by more than 1.9% in early trading.
“Energy services provider Cape’s shares soared following a bullish update and the award of additional work on its contract at the Chevron-operated Wheatstone natural gas project in Western Australia. Cape has seen strong trading across its three regional businesses during the past two months and particularly in Asia Pacific driven by high levels of project activity. Full-year results are set to be materially ahead of forecasts and the outlook for this year remains encouraging. Cape led the FTSE All-Share board in early trading with its shares up by over 21.7%.
“Costain’s shares made early gains after the group clinched a place on Transport for London's new £500m major projects framework. Costain is one of three suppliers for the four-year framework, which covers the delivery, upgrade and maintenance of bridges, tunnels and highways across London. Investors were also encouraged by the group’s year-end trading update which confirmed that 2016 results would be in line with forecasts while the order book has been maintained at the record level of £3.9bn. Costain’s shares were up by 2.8%.”
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