Floods lift housebuilders, sink insurers

London Stock ExchangeTue: Housebuilders lifted the London market after a report showed a record increase of 13.4% in November house prices.

Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey and Barratt Development were among the top risers on the FTSE 100 on the back of the data from property group Haart. All were up by between 3% and 3.5%.

There has been a surge in registrations from buy-to-let investors since the Autumn Statement announced higher stamp duty would be introduced on 1 April.

The housing sector was also supported by the potential boost from the cost of rebuilding and repairing the numerous homes damaged in the floods.

However, UK insurers took a hit as it emerged the floods could cost the economy up to £5.8bn, with insurers likely to see claims of up to £1.5bn.

Aviva, RSA, AXA and Direct Line, among the insurers facing payouts, said it was still too early to give an idea of the cost given the weather forecasts.

Oil prices staged a recovery from Monday’s declines. Brent crude rose 2.7% to $37.66 per barrel and West Texas Intermediate increased 2.4% to $37.72 per barrel (4.30pm).

Ryanair rose after saying it delivered 70% of all traffic growth at Cork, Dublin, Knock and Shannon airports this year, which saw record growth for Irish tourism.

The FTSE 100 was up 60 points at 6,314.57.

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