Housebuilder rally fails to spark FTSE 100

UK housebuilder stocks failed to push the FTSE 100 into positive territory after Persimmon's (PSN) positive update, with a 0.8% fall in BP (BP.) to 515.2p among the drags on the index.

West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oil both slid 0.5% higher to $53.54 and $56.75 per barrel, respectively.

Gold advanced 1% to $1,175 per ounce and copper was stable at $5,621 per tonne.

FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS

Persimmon reported a jump in forward sales in 2017, which reassured the market following a pre-New Year profit alert from Bovis (BVS). Investors overlooked Persimmon's slower sales run rate, which tailed off towards the end of 2016. The stock rallied 5.8% to £19.15.

Taylor Wimpey (TW.) and Barratt Developments (BDEV) made smaller gains on the update.

Engineering support services firm Babcock (BAB) won a contract from DGA in France to provide and maintain a training platform and related services for the French Air Force.

FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS

Investment company HICL Infrastructure (HICL) acquired equity interests in two Dutch projects from Ballast Nedam for €21.3m.

Shares in oil and gas producer Tullow Oil (TLW) were flat after announcing its chief financial officer (CFO) Ian Springett was taking an extended leave of absence to undergo medical treatment. Vice president of finance and commercial Les Wood was appointed interim CFO.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Mobile computing solutions supplier Touchstar (TST) disappointed the market after announcing it will no longer meet expectations for the financial year to 31 December 2016. It blamed a deferral in certain orders into 2017 and bad debt at Touchstar Access Control. The stock plummeted 23.2% to 81p.

Oil industry services business Cape (CIU) said it will 'materially' beat expectations for full year results for 2016, triggering a share price rise of 18% to 179.4p.

Stevia ingredients producer PureCircle (PURE) reported net profit is expected to be lower than the first half of 2016 due to the detainment of shipments by US Customs Border Protection. The stock fell 9% on the news.

Engineer Costain (COST) maintained its order book at the same level as the prior year, and secured a place on the Transport for London's Surface Transport Major Projects Framework.

Gold explorer Kolar Gold (KGLD) issued 8.5 million shares to Mineral Exploration Network for 150 shares in Kaleva Gold under a joint venture to develop several licenses in Finland.

Low cost airline Fastjet (FJET) announced an agreement with African commercial aviation group Solenta for the provision of three aircraft and supply of other services over the next five years. It also proposed a placing through an accelerated book build to raise $28.8m.

Investment firm Tejoori (TJI) entered a memorandum of understanding Mohammad Ali Abdulla to dispose its remaining Arjan plot of land for $5.8m.

SigmaRoc (SRC) completed the acquisition of Aggregate Industries' subsidiary Ronez for £45m.