The FTSE 100 is flat in early trading after a weak session in Asia overnight and ahead of the release of inflation data in Europe.

Shares in housebuilder Berkeley (BKG) falls 5.3% to £37.15 as a trading update reveals several constraints on future growth as the company says it can’t boost volumes beyond its current plans. Nonetheless it reiterates guidance for £3.1bn of pre-tax profit in the five years to April 2021.

Other housebuilders fall in sympathy with Barratt Developments (BDEV) down 1.6% at 528p, Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 2.1% to 182.25p and Persimmon (PSN) falling 1.6% to £25.20.

Pubs group JD Wetherspoon (JDW) gains 3% to £13.34 as big increases in first half profit and earnings overshadow a warning of lower like-for-like sales growth and higher costs in the second half of the year.

The strong performance in the first six months of its financial year enables the company to maintain full year guidance despite the weaker outlook.

Outsourcer Mitie (MTO) falls 7.8% to 148.9p as it reports higher costs associated with a restructuring of the group in a pre-close trading update and as chief executive Phil Bentley notes the ‘liquidation of Carillion has raised some fundamental questions about the outsourcing industry’.

Elsewhere in corporate news insurance firm Old Mutual (OML) and aerospace and defence outfit Cobham (COB) both update on sales of non-core business units.

Old Mutual agrees to sell its Latin American division for an undisclosed sum to focus on opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa.

Cobham announces the completion of its $455m sale of its AvComm and Wireless test and measurement solutions business to Viavi Solutions.

On AIM leisure and real estate investor Clear Leisure (CLP:AIM) slumps 16.2% to 0.78p as it reveals a placing at 0.7p to raise £300,000.

Find out how to deal online from £1.50 in a SIPP, ISA or Dealing account.

Issue Date: 16 Mar 2018