BUSINESS LIVE: Persimmon and three other major housebuilders facing probe

BUSINESS LIVE: Housebuilders facing probe over ‘leasehold trap’ allegations; US tech stocks lead a pullback; Pret a Manger starts monthly subscription service

  • US stocks fared poorly yesterday and FTSE 100 opened down this morning
  • Four major UK housebuilders being investigated by competition body

US stock markets, as well as those in the UK, closed up firmly in the red yesterday, and analysts on all sides will be watching closely to see how the coming day pans out.

The FTSE 100 got out on the wrong side of bed this morning, down around 0.89 per cent or 52.12 points to 5,798.74, after closing at 5,850 last night.

On the topic of US stocks, David Madden, an analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: ‘Recently, the NADSAQ 100 has powered ahead as big name companies like Apple, Netflix, Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft and Tesla have been in extremely high demand.

‘There has been talk of gross overvaluations for some time, and yesterday there was a big sell-off in the stocks. 

‘Panic selling set in and equities across the board suffered as a result. In the end, the NASDAQ 100 finished down more than 5%, and the S&P 500 lost 3.5%.’

In UK company news today, four major housebuilders, namely Barratt Developments, Countryside Properties, Persimmon Homes and Taylor Wimpey face action from the Competition and Markets Authority.

Buyers have argued that they were caught in a leasehold trap, with rising ground rents and unfair fees.

Elsewhere, embattled coffee chain Pret a Manger has launched a new subscription service to help boost sales. It will offer customers up to five coffees a day if they sign up to a monthly subscription service.