LONDON — The FTSE 100 may have opened higher on Friday in reaction to the general election result but individual sectors are getting seriously burned.
Banking stocks and house builders are particularly suffering, with stocks down as much as 5%.
Builders are the worst hit. Earlier this week the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) warned that the general election was “causing some hesitancy from both buyers and vendors” in the housing market. The uncertainty of a hung parliament is sparking fears that this property slowdown could continue.
House builders are domestic businesses that deal in pounds and the fall in sterling in the wake of the election result doesn’t help either.
The worst hit stock is FTSE 250 housebuilder Crest Nicholson, down 4.9% at 9.40 a.m. BST (5.40 a.m. ET):
Persimmon is the biggest faller on the FTSE 100, down 3.2% at the same time:
Other big moves in the sector include Berkeley Group, down 4.8%, Taylor Wimpey, down 3.2%, and Barratt Developments, down 2.8%.
Despite the falls, analysts at Jefferies make the bold call to buy shares of house builders on Friday morning. Analysts Anthony Codling and Sam Cullen write:
“Uncertainty surrounding Brexit has increased in our view. The prospect of another election looms and activity in the UK housing market is likely to slow, in our view. Share prices overreacted follow the UK’s EU referendum and we would buy UK house builders on weakness today, next week and the week after that.”
Ken Odeluga, an analyst at City Index, agrees with Jefferies’ assessment, saying: “Whilst investors often seem to be ready to take opportunities to trim soaring housebuilder shares — Persimmon, the biggest gained almost 40% up till late-May — notwithstanding cooling demand, recent experience suggests even a significant residential property stock sell-off will be short-lived.”
Domestic UK bank stocks are also suffering on Friday morning. The new uncertainty surrounding Brexit negotiations is also likely hitting sentiment, with financial services likely to be the sector most affected by the outcome.
Lloyds Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland stocks are both down over 3%, while Barclays stock is down 1%.
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