UK house sales slide after stamp duty holiday cut; FTSE 250 at new high – business live

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Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news

  • FTSE 250 index ends at new high
  • Nasdaq hits fresh record on economic optimism
  • UK retail stock levels at record low amid supply problems
  • UK house sales fell over 60% in July after busiest ever June
  • Housebuyers rush to complete deals before stamp duty tax cut trimmed

Earlier:

  • Oil surged 5% on Monday on rising demand hopes and weaker dollar
  • Markets cheered as FDA gave full approval to Pfizer’s Covid vaccine
  • Might weaker data delay Fed tapering?

5.19pm BST

Danni Hewson, AJ Bell financial analyst, has summed up the day:

“It looked like the Sainsbury’s sell off might prevent the FTSE 100 from joining today’s market party, but in the end the Wall Street glow cut through aided by a slight rise in the price of gold and speculation about the next travel update due later this week. The travel sector and miners delivered some decent gains today. In the first camp, hotels group Whitbread, TUI, Easyjet and Carnival all made it on to the top risers list as investors lap up social media beach posts or indulge in their own holiday dreams. The summer has managed to deliver in a small way and expectation that more Americans might just grab a jab after yesterday’s regulator approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will generate talk that perhaps the US-UK travel bridge might be somewhere on the horizon.

“Retailers have also performed fairly well today despite more data detailing shipping issues that seem to be storing up trouble for the back end of the year. It might seem wrong to talk about Christmas before schools have even gone back but after the last 18 months of disruption and despair this holiday season will be even more important to retailers and anything that impinges on that is a worry. And whilst retail is on the mind, the game of supermarket sweep has seen another obstacle fall into the aisle with a warning from Morrisons’ pension regulators that both bids in contention are a cause for concern.

5.08pm BST

The more UK-focused FTSE 250 has hit a fresh record high today, with travel stocks giving it a boost.

The FTSE 250 index of mid-size companies jumped 0.6% today, or 145 points, to end at 23,886 points, slightly above yesterday’s intraday record. That means it’s gained more than 16% so far this year, lifted by hopes of an economic recovery and a flurry of takeover bids.

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