Market report

London closes lower as China re-opening weighs


Concern over a renewed global surge in Covid cases as China lifted its border restrictions continued to weigh on investor sentiment, despite a defiant rally in the US.

Trading in the shortened session was subdued as the festive period wraps up, with little in the way of economic or company news to provide much direction.

The FTSE 100 closed 60.98 points (0.81%) lower at 7,451.74, dragged down by housebuilders and ending 2022 almost where it began, just 0.9% higher, while global markets fell almost 20%. The the more domestically focused FTSE 250 fell sharply, ending the year down by 19.7%.

Figures from Nationwide showed property prices have fallen for a fourth consecutive month in December, marking the longest losing streak since the 2008 financial crisis.

Barratt Developments was the biggest faller, down 12.5p, or 3.1%, at 396.75p, while Persimmon fell 3%, or 38p, to £12.17.

Investors put their faith in a lift for retailers. JD Sports, which specialises in athleisure wear, rose 3p, or 2.4%, to 126.25p, while Next added 54p, or 0.9%, to £58.06.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 73.55 points, or 0.2%.

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