Investors identify solid foundations in SIG & Barratt Developments

Friday, 13 January: The FTSE 100 snapped back above 7300 today after slipping below the marker yesterday, but continued its unbroken rally since the start of 2017.The market was helped higher by a mix of financial, and consumer stocks as pharmaceutical equities were also on the rebound. Meanwhile, sterling capped off a shaky week trying to make up ground this morning against both the euro and dollar, though little headway was made. This was despite the dollar having the worst week in two months with the dollar index (.DXY) slipping fractionally for the third consecutive day in early London trade, and almost 1.00% lower for the week as Trump’s lack of fiscal stimulus talk did not go unnoticed.

Barratt Developments (+3.61%)was the best performer in the FTSE 100, as it recovered ground after touching an intraday low of 489.20p on Thursday. The house builder said yesterday that it expects year-on-year growth of 7.00% in its interim pre-tax profit as stronger demand outside London offset lower completion levels in the capital. It also said it will likely build the same or less homes than in the prior year, as it highlighted a more competitive land market in the UK. Analyst cite today’s trade as being down to bargain hunters in the stock market seeking a relatively cheap stock with a low forward earnings valuation and signs of healthy cash flow.

SIG(+12.87%) was the biggest climber in London today after the building product distributor reported higher sales and predicted underlying pretax profit as falling within previous guidance. The FTSE 250 company eased investor concerns, following a profit warning for 2016 as it blamed softer trading and increased competition. Like-for-like sales saw a slight increase, with total group sales rising 11%.

At the close, European indices were up as the FTSE 100 closed +0.62%( for a record 14-session win streak) , the CAC 40 +1.20% and the DAX 30 +0.94%.

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