Chancellor’s Rishi Sunak’s Summer Statement – described as a mini-budget in some quarters – delivered more or less what had been expected.

In the absence of any big surprises the FTSE 100 delivered a bit of a shrug to the announcement, remaining subdued down 0.4% at 6,167.61, and sterling was unchanged against the dollar.

Following a wave of job losses being announced across different sectors – Sunak confirmed the furlough scheme would end in October but promised £1,000 bonus for firms which re-employ furloughed workers. There were also measures to support jobs for young people.

The key takeaway from a stock market perspective was probably the abolition of stamp duty on homes worth up to £500,000 until 31 March 2021. Something which will take effect immediately. This is widely expected to boost activity in the housing market and went slightly further than what had reported ahead of time.

The announcement perked up shares in at least some of the housebuilders, which had risen earlier in the week after the move was trailed in the weekend papers. Persimmon (PSN) gained 1% to £24.37, Barratt Developments (BDEV) ticked up 0.6% to 531.6p and Redrow (RDW) moved 1.5% higher to 460p.

Estate agents also moved higher, Foxtons (FOXT) was up 2.4% to 38.5p and Purplebricks (PURP) was 4.1% higher at 58.3p

The other news mainly related to the hospitality sector with VAT cut for tourism and hospitality business from 20% to 5% until January and an ‘eat out to help out’ scheme offering a £10 discount to customers who eat out between Monday to Wednesday in August.

Shares in the likes of pubs operator JD Wetherspoon (JDW) and hotels and restaurants firm Whitbread (WTB) managed small gains. Wagamama-owner Restaurant Group (RTN) produced a bigger advance, gaining 10.1% to 64.2p.

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Issue Date: 08 Jul 2020