Housebuilder shares hit by Brexit turmoil

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Housebuilders
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Shares in housebuilders suffered yesterday as the markets digested a day of turmoil in Westminster

The FTSE 100 closed broadly flat, even after the pound took a sharp dive following the resignation of Brexit secretary Dominic Raab, a day after the cabinet had agreed on Prime Minister Theresa May’s draft divorce deal.

However, companies with a greater focus on the UK economy took a hit as further resignations rolled in and some Conservative MPs called for a no confidence vote in the PM.

Housebuilders Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey and Berkeley Group fell between 6% and 7%, their worst daily performance since the 2016 Brexit referendum, according to analysis by Reuters.

Meanwhile, housebuilder Barratt suffered a drop of over 7% and Countryside Properties was down by 9%, according to the BBC.

Contractor Capita took a battering, falling 14% on the back of reports in the Financial Times that it could lose key NHS contracts over the failure to send letters relating to cervical cancer tests and results.

Banks and retailers were also hit by Brexit uncertainty. Royal Bank of Scotland, which is still 62.4% state-owned, fell 9.3%, its worst day of trading since June 2016, while Lloyds and Barclays were down 5% and 4.1% respectively. HSBC, which has a stronger international presence, rose 2.1%.

Elsewhere, Marks & Spencer was down 4.8% and Next fell 4.1%.

The markets are braced for further Westminster intrigue today, as reports suggest the chair 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs, Sir Graham Brady, has received the 48 letters necessary to trigger a no confidence motion in the Prime Minister.

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