Autumn Budget: Markets
Pub chains, airlines and housebuilders lifted
Wetherspoon shares rose 10%
London traders were largely unmoved by the Budget after so much had been leaked in advance, though pub groups were sharply higher and housebuilders gained ground.
The FTSE 100 was off its lows for the day after the Chancellor spoke but was trading down again before the close at 7,255.30, lower by 22.49 points.
Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: “As perhaps you would expect, when the Budget had been so comprehensively leaked in advance, financial markets largely took their statement in their stride.”
He noted that pub groups were up strongly, buoyed by the scrapping of planned alcohol duty increases and a 50% cut in business rates for retail, leisure and hospitality venues.
By the time the Chancellor had sat down, JD Wetherspoon was up 10%, Revolution Bars 6% and Mitchells & Butlers and Marston’s by 5%.
Housebuilders gained some ground as the Government pressed ahead with its drive to increase the number of houses that are being built [in England] and the 4% Residential Property Developers Tax on housebuilders’ profits above £25 million proved no worse than expected, said Mr Mould.
This will come into force on 1 April to help fund remediation work on cladding in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire. Crest Nicholson and Vistry were both up by 2-3% and Barratt, Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey were the biggest gainers in the FTSE 100, with gains of around 1.5% to 2%.
Proposed cuts to air passenger duty saw EasyJet up 2% and Jet2 and British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines by 1%, even though the changes do not come into effect until 2023.
Barclays was the biggest faller as the Chancellor retained the 3% surcharge on bank profits over and above corporation tax.