Fresh FTSE highs as housebuilders beat growth predictions

Global markets edged to record highs in early trading on Friday amid a flurry of positive economic data.

Fresh FTSE highs as housebuilders beat growth predictions


The FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 both hit new highs on Friday morning at 7,598 and 20,081 points respectively before falling back slightly by lunchtime.

The MSCI World Index also hit a new high on Friday, with the Dow Jones predicted to rise at the time of writing on the back of a closely-watched US jobs report out on Friday afternoon.

Solid construction data revealed business activity in the sector was at its highest level since December 2015 due to a pick-up in housebuilding.

A recovery in the levels of new work pushed up recruitment levels and the PMI measured 56.0 in May, a sharp increase on the previous level of 53.1.

Tim Moore, senior economist at IHS Markit, said: “May’s survey data reveals that the UK construction sector has started to recover strongly from its slow start to 2017.

“A sustained rebound in residential building provides an encouraging sign that the recent soft patch for property values has not deterred new housing supply.”

John Monaghan, senior investment research analyst at Square Mile, said: “It’s very interesting that the FTSE 250 has hit new highs and with some of those new companies they are more domestically orientated.

“There’s been some positive news about housing stocks and companies and that will benefit the likes of brick makers and construction firms.”

The report is expected to show 185,000 new jobs were created in the economy.    

Friday’s highs were pre-empted by the S&P 500 strong performance on Thursday as it rose 0.35% to a fresh high of 2,420.

For investors, Monaghan added it was a tough call on whether to put money into markets and hope the highs continue or stay put in more defensive assets.

He said: “In terms of how long it’s going to last for? That’s the golden question. How long is a piece of string?

“We are slightly cautious about equity markets given the current levels but it’s difficult to say what would be the catalyst for further advancement from here.”

Latest Stories