U.K. stocks advanced Monday, led by banks and mining companies, while building names also gained amid more indications of housing market strength.
The FTSE 100 index UKX, +0.64% rose 0.5% to 7,559.37, outperforming a 0.3% rise for the Stoxx Europe 600 index SXXP, +0.48%. The pound GBPUSD, -0.10% was down modesty after climbing 1.3% so far in the month, and following last week’s interest rate hike by the Bank of England.
Housing stocks were in focus after Halifax reported its monthly house price index rose just 0.3%, the weakest rise since June 2021. The annual rate of growth was steady at 9.7% and average prices rose to a record high of £276,759 ($374,227).
“Rightmove’s data also indicated new buyer inquiries were up 15% and the average stock of homes listed for sale just 12 per estate agent branch, a record low. Buoyant mortgage approvals also point to an exceptionally tight housing market,” said Davy Research analyst Conall MacCoille, in a note to clients.
London stocks were also boosted by bank names, with heavily weighted HSBC HSBC, +0.69% HSBA, +1.60% up 1.2%, Barclays BCS, +0.22% BARC, +1.67% and Standard Chartered STAN, +1.44% stock each gained 0.8%.