Housebuilders benefit from Osborne comments

In mid-morning trading the FTSE 100 is up 25 points with the homebuilders leading the way.

In London, this morning homebuilding is the best performing sector as George Osborne annouced that he plans to keep the Help to Buy scheme in place until 2020. The scheme harks back to the Thatcherite policy of Right to Buy and, even though there is concern this will fuel a property bubble, housebuilders are reaping the benefits for now. 

The Crimean question still hangs over the market; the troubled peninsula voted overwhelmingly to join Russia but the referendum was not recognised by the UN so the situation is far from resolved. 

Mineral extractors have pulled back some of last week’s losses. The global demand for minerals is under question as China’s industrial economy is slowing down. The Chinese central bank has loosened its control on the yuan, which is providing respite in the short-terms. 

Alibaba is set to float on a US exchange; the Chinese online retailer is hoping to raise $15 billion from its IPO. IG clients are already indicating a market capitalisation of $16 billion via our grey market. 

In the US we are expecting the Dow Jones to open 75 points higher at 16,140, as short covering drives index futures higher. 

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