The FTSE 100 edged past 6,600 as strong gains by Pershing Holdings, CRH and Taylor Wimpey were offset by fears of slowing demand in China. In better news for the FTSE 100 companies, the UK economy avoided a recession at the end of 2020, and optimism is building around the future.
“The UK economy dodged a double dip recession as the economy grew by 1% in the final quarter of 2020, which was a pleasant surprise as economists were predicting 0.5% growth,” said David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets.
Madden also highlighted that the BoE predicted there will be a “strong economic rebound this year as restrictions will be eased as the UK’s vaccination distribution process builds on its already solid success”.
FTSE 100 movers
At mid-morning trade, Pershing Square Holdings (3.88%), CRH (2.38%) and Taylor Wimpey (2.09%) led up the FTSE 100 as the day’s top movers.
Ashtead Group (-2.78%), BP (-2.34%) and International Consolidated Airlines (-2%) were at the bottom of the pile before lunchtime on Tuesday.
Taylor Wimpey confirmed on Tuesday that it would resume its dividend payment after seeing a fall in pre-tax profit of 68%. The housebuilder’s profit fell from £673.9m in 2019 to £217m. Taylor Wimpey has now reinstated its dividend at 4.14p per share. If approved then the total payout will come to £151m.
There was also a 38.9% decrease in completion, down to 9,799 in 2020 from 16,042 the year before.
Intertek, the FTSE 100 assurance, inspection, product testing and certification company, confirmed a drop in its profit during 2020 but the company is expecting a strong year ahead. Adjusted operating profit fell by 18.4% to £427.7m, while pre-tax profit dipped by 19% to £392.8m.
Looking ahead, the company vowed to continue its focus on on sustainability, targeting net zero emissions by 2050. Intertek also stated that it is strongly positioned for growth during the pandemic recovery, as it will focus on risk and M&A growth opportunities.