Business

FTSE 100 bolstered by housebuilder Taylor Wimpey

Trader in London Image copyright AFP

(Close): Well-received results from Taylor Wimpey and DCC helped to lift London's stock market.

The benchmark FTSE 100 index rose 1% in early trade before falling back. By the close it was 22.75 points higher, or 0.34%, at 6,753.18.

Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey rose 3.1% after it said trading had been "strong" in the second half of the year.

Despite uncertainty after the Brexit vote, the market "has remained robust and trading has remained resilient".

Taylor Wimpey said it had sold on average 0.70 homes per outlet per week in the second half of the year, compared with 0.74 in the same period a year earlier.

Another riser was Dublin-based support services firm DCC. Its shares added 2.8% after it said full-year operating profits were set to beat expectations. The company also announced it was buying a 97% stake in French gas business Gaz Europeen.

Shares in William Hill were up 1.5% after the bookmaker gave an upbeat forecast for full-year profits as its online business improved.

The FTSE 250 firm now expects full-year operating profits to be at the top end of its predicted range of £260m-£280m.

Online net revenue rose 4% in the four months to 25 October, after falling 3% in the first half of the year.

However, banks were the top gainers on the 100-share index, with Barclays and RBS adding 5.2% and 4.4% respectively, buoyed by the rise in bond yields and the prospect of higher interest rates as a result.

On the bond market, yields on UK 10-year government bonds neared six-month highs, reaching 1.491%, as the bond market sell-off continued. When bond prices fall, yields rise.

US bond yields have risen following the election of Donald Trump, on the expectation that his policies will lead to a pick-up in inflation.

Bonds also had an impact on the currency market, as the pound fell against the dollar. Sterling dropped 1.1% against the dollar to $1.2464, but edged up 0.2% against the euro to €1.1624.