Updated March 6th, 2024 at 19:53 IST

UK equities rally following spring budget; real estate sector outperforms

The benchmark FTSE 100 edged up by 0.3 per cent, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 surged by 1.2 per cent, marking its peak since early January.

Reported by: Business Desk
LSEG | Image:LSEG
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UK stocks: UK equities surged on Wednesday following spring budget announcement, with the FTSE 250 hitting its highest level in two months. Investor sentiment was buoyed by the government's fiscal announcements, particularly in the real estate sector, which saw major gains in response to a reduction in capital gains tax on property sales.

The benchmark FTSE 100 edged up by 0.3 per cent, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 surged by 1.2 per cent, marking its peak since early January.

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In his pre-election budget statement, Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt expressed confidence that inflation would soon dip below the Bank of England's 2 per cent target, forecasting a growth rate of 0.8 per cent for the economy this year, following a recession in the latter half of 2023.

Christopher Peters, trading floor manager at Accendo Markets, noted the government's emphasis on stimulating growth, highlighting the anticipation of achieving inflation targets ahead of schedule, coupled with unexpected economic expansion.

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Among the notable market movements, shares in British pub groups, including Marston's, Fuller Smith & Turner, and J D Wetherspoon, climbed between 1 and 1.5 per cent following the announcement of an extension to the alcohol duty freeze until February 2025.

Real estate companies and real estate investment trusts witnessed a collective increase of approximately 2 per cent each, buoyed by the proposed tax cut outlined in the budget, indicating investor optimism towards property-related investments.

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ConvaTech saw a robust surge of 5.2 per cent after revising its mid-term revenue growth forecast upwards, leading to a 2.8 per cent rise in the medical equipment and services index.

British Airways owner IAG gained 5.2 per cent following a rating upgrade from JP Morgan, while Legal & General slid 1.2 per cent after falling short of expectations for 2023 operating profit.

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In the property sector, homebuilders experienced a modest increase of 0.8 per cent, with data suggesting a slowdown in British house-building activity at its slowest pace since late 2022, signalling tentative signs of recovery in the housing market.

(With Reuters inputs)

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Published March 6th, 2024 at 19:53 IST