UK markets closed
  • FTSE 100

    7,019.53
    +36.03 (+0.52%)
     
  • FTSE 250

    22,522.18
    +50.14 (+0.22%)
     
  • AIM

    1,254.25
    +6.12 (+0.49%)
     
  • GBP/EUR

    1.1538
    +0.0027 (+0.23%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.3842
    +0.0058 (+0.42%)
     
  • BTC-GBP

    44,973.76
    -1,282.78 (-2.77%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    1,399.68
    +7.97 (+0.57%)
     
  • S&P 500

    4,185.47
    +15.05 (+0.36%)
     
  • DOW

    34,200.67
    +164.68 (+0.48%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    63.07
    -0.39 (-0.61%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    1,777.30
    +10.50 (+0.59%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    29,683.37
    +40.68 (+0.14%)
     
  • HANG SENG

    28,969.71
    +176.57 (+0.61%)
     
  • DAX

    15,459.75
    +204.42 (+1.34%)
     
  • CAC 40

    6,287.07
    +52.93 (+0.85%)
     

What to watch: Foxtons and eBay deals, Flutter merger costs, Boohoo shock

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Tom Belger
·Finance and policy reporter
·5-min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
General view of a branch of Foxtons estate agents, in central London.
General view of a branch of Foxtons estate agents, in central London.

Here are the top business, market, and economic stories you should be watching today in the UK, Europe, and abroad:

Foxtons deal and Taylor Wimpey dividends as house prices hit record high

Major London estate agent Foxtons (FOXT.L) has snapped up a rival, Taylor Wimpey (TW.L) reintroduced dividends and UK house prices hit a new record high in a busy day for property news in the UK.

Foxtons said it had bought estate and letting Douglas & Gordon for £14.25m in an update to shareholders on Tuesday.

Meanwhile housebuilder Taylor Wimpey announced it would resume dividends and pay £151m to shareholders, as well as setting aside £125m ($173m) for post-Grenfell cladding and other fire safety work on its apartment blocks.

The leading UK housebuilder (TW.L) leapt more than 2.5% on the stock market in London on Tuesday, as investors welcomed its full-year results for 2020. It posted plummeting full-year completions, revenues and profits as a result of the first nationwide lockdown, but reported growth in its order book this year so far.

The updates come after reports over the weekend the government could extend a stamp duty holiday in England and Northern Ireland had sent housebuilding stocks rallying on Monday.

Finally new data from UK lender Nationwide on Tuesday showed house price growth rising in February to reach a new record high, when economists polled by Reuters had forecast a cooling in growth.

Paddy Power-owner's profits wiped out by mega-merger costs

Flutter Entertainment (FLTR.L), the gambling group behind brands like Paddy Power, PokerStars, and Betfair, hailed a "transformational" year in 2020 as it reported surging sales but sinking profits

Flutter said its revenue rose by 106% last year to £4.3bn ($6bn). Sales were up 27% in the 12 months to 31 December 2020 when the impact of Flutter's $11bn merger with The Stars Group, which completed last May, was factored in.

Gross profits rose 92% to £2.8bn and adjusted earnings were up 109% to £889m. However, pre-tax profits sunk 99% to £1m due to costs associated with the mega merger

Boohoo shares fall on report of possible US export ban

Shares in fast fashion retailer Boohoo (BOO.L) fell more than 5% on Tuesday after a report claimed the company could face a ban on exporting to the US.

Sky News reported on Tuesday that US Customs and Border Protection had launched an investigation into Boohoo following petitions from a UK-based lawyer campaigning against modern slavery. Duncan Jepson, who runs campaign group Liberty Shared, told Sky there was "compelling" evidence that Boohoo was using forced labour in its supply chain.

Shares in Boohoo fell as much as 5% on the report. US sales made up around a fifth of the company's revenues last year.

Boohoo said in a statement it had not been contacted by US Customers and Border Protection and said it was not aware of any investigation.

COVID-19 pushed Brits to spend extra £15bn on groceries in 2020

Stay at home orders and the closure of pubs, cafes and restaurants for much of 2020 led to surging supermarket sales last year.

Market research firm Kantar, which tracks supermarket sales and market share, said Brits spent an extra £15.2bn ($21.1bn) on groceries last year, which was equivalent to 7 billion extra meals eaten at home and 2 billion cups of tea since last spring.

"The pandemic has now been making its mark on our lives and completely changing the way we shop for a full year," said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar.

Supermarket sales are once again on the up with Britain back in lockdown. Kantar said sales in the four weeks to 21 February were 15.1% higher than the same period last year.

Tesco (TSCO.L) was the best performer, growing its market share by 0.2 percentage points. I was the supermarket's first market share gain since December 2016.

Iceland grew its market share by 0.3 percentage points but remains much smaller than Tesco. Morrisons (MRW.L) eked out market share gains of 0.1 percentage point.

Ebay sells three small UK units to get $9.2bn deal approved

Ebay (EBAY) and Norway's Adevinta (ADE.OL) said they will sell three British units so that they can get UK regulatory approval for a $9.2bn (£6.6bn) deal which has been on the cards since July 2020.

Last month, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said Adevinta’s anticipated purchase of eBay Classified Group (ECG) could lead to higher prices and less choice for consumers.

It said both Adevinta and ECG operate online classified advertising platforms in the UK. These websites — Adevinta’s Shpock and ECG’s Gumtree — allow people to buy and sell a broad range of used or new goods.

UK stocks rise on strong housing and grocery data

A global stock market rebound cooled on Tuesday, knocked by falling oil prices and continued fears of rising interest rates.

UK stocks bucked the trend however on strong economic data, including surging supermarket sales and house prices unexpectedly picking up to hit a new record high.

Leading European indices opened lower, but were trading close to flat at around 8.30am in London. The CAC (^FCHI) and the DAX (^GDAXI) were up 0.1%, while the FTSE 100 (^FTSE) rose 0.3%.

In the US, stocks looked set for declines. Futures on the S&P 500 (ES=F) were 0.4% lower, futures on the Dow (YM=F) were down 0.3%, and Nasdaq futures (NQ=F) were down 0.4%.

Investors were mulling over "whether a change in tone from the Federal Reserve is forthcoming with respect to their recent ambivalence on the recent sharp rise in US bond yields," said Michael Hewson, chief analyst at CMC Markets UK. "It was notable that while yields in Europe fell back yesterday, US 10-year yields held steady."

Lower oil prices appeared to be weighing on stocks, hitting miners and energy companies and eating into economic recovery hopes.

Watch: What is inflation and why is it important?