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Persimmon marginally outperformed Bovis Homes by posting a 49% increase in its full-year profits. The British homebuilders have George Osborne to thank for the jump in profits, and all they need now is for Mark Carney to keep interest rates at rock-bottom-levels to ensure a strong property market.
Emerging markets-focused fund manager Ashmore has lost the most ground today, after a recent scare in the emerging markets prompted cash outflows. Stability may have been restored here, but the outflow of funds suggests confidence hasn’t been recouped.
BHP Billiton has halted work at its Yarrie production mine in Western Australia. This is another step towards boosting productivity, and only the most profitable mines will remain in operation. Mineral extractors have slipped for a second consecutive day, as fears over a slowing housing market in China have pushed metal prices lower.
In the US, we are expecting the Dow Jones to open 20 points lower, as US stocks hit a record high yesterday.