FTSE 100 risers and fallers this week

This week EasyJet soared high above the competition, with its rivals struggling to keep pace, while UK home developers continue to see stocks climb higher.

easyJet has had an excellent week of trading, with the FTSE 100 company seeing its share price soaring from £11.50 a share on Tuesday and coming close to breaking through £13 levels on Friday.

The low-cost airline has had an excellent start to the new fiscal year, with the company faring well despite a some headwinds and has fared well in the low-fare environment that has seen its rivals struggle.

On Tuesday, easyJet announced a 13.7% rise in revenues to £1.29 billion in its first quarter, driven by a 15.1% increase in passenger numbers over the period – an amazing achievement, especially with the drone issues at London Gatwick prior to Christmas.

‘easyJet has made a good start to the 2019 financial year with robust customer demand and ancillary sales, driving solid revenue generation,’ easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren said in a statement.

‘This was underpinned by good operating and on-time performance across the network, with the exception of the disruption caused by the Gatwick closures due to drone sightings.’

UK homebuilders continue to rally

Easily the best performers in the UK blue chip index over the last month have been British homebuilders who have all seen their share prices rally by more than 20%.

Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey and Barratt Developments have all had an amazing start to the new year, despite growing concerns about whether growth will slow in the sector in the months ahead as the Brexit deadline edges closer.

Last week saw Persimmon and Bovis both record strong sets of results, with profits for both homebuilders far exceeding many analysts’ expectations.

Homebuilders will be hoping that an extension to Article 50 that will push the Brexit deadline past March – which is peak selling season in the UK housing market – and give players in the space more time to prepare for Britain’s departure from the EU.

FTSE 100: The biggest losers

Vodafone ended the week on a disappointing note following the announcement of its third quarter earnings, which saw its share price tumble more than 5% on Friday.

Since the start of December, the company has seen its share price steadily decline 168p levels all the way down to below 140p a share, representing a 14% decline in nearly two months.

According to the head of markets at Interactive Investor Richard Hunter, Vodafone has suffered due to the ‘company’s complexity and fierce competition within the sector’.

‘Even so, as has long been the case with Vodafone, the potential if not the execution is evident, which might explain the fact that the market consensus of the shares remains doggedly at a buy,’ he added.

Also among the FTSE 100’s biggest losers this week was biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and consumer goods multinational Reckitt Benckiser, with the former announcing a major shake-up plan and the latter seeing its share price plummet following US investment banks criticised its ‘weak’ work culture.

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