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FTSE 100 at the close: Barratt Developments, Johnson Matthey

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By Patrick Munnelly, Market Strategist, Tickmill

On Wednesday, the FTSE 100 in the UK experienced further losses at the open  before limping back to the flatline into the close of trading.

Early negativity was primarily due to the ongoing impact of lacklustre economic data from both China and Europe on the global market sentiment.

Additionally, Barratt Developments’ [LON:BDEV] stock price took a hit following their cautionary note about challenging market conditions.

Shares of Barratt Developments, the UK’s largest homebuilder, experienced a 0.7% drop by the close.

The company cited factors such as high mortgage rates and the pressure of rising living costs, which have dampened demand.

Barratt Developments reported a significant 36% decrease in forward sales, amounting to £2.44 million ($3.07 million), compared to the previous year.

The company expressed that the UK housing market remains challenging, with an uncertain outlook.

In terms of financial performance, the FTSE 100-listed builder’s pre-tax profit for the fiscal year amounted to £884.3 million, down from £1,054.8 million in the previous year.

Bottom spot by the close belonged to Burberry Group [LON:BRBY] which became the latest victim of investor concerns regarding the retail outlook in the UK as their shares slid 4.7% on the day.

On the positive side of the ledger sits recent FTSE 100 denomination candidate Johnson Matthey [LON:JMAT] holding top spot on the index today,

Johnson Matthey shares surged by over 10% before settling back to register a 3.7% gain on the session, following news that a US investor, Standard Latitude Master Fund, has doubled its stake in the chemicals giant.

This development has reignited speculation about the possibility of a foreign takeover.

Standard Latitude Master Fund, controlled by Standard Investments, the investment arm of the New York-based conglomerate Standard Industries, expanded its stake in Johnson Matthey to 10.1%.

This move comes after the fund had previously acquired a 5.2% stake in the company in April of the previous year.

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This article does not constitute investment advice. Make sure you do your own research or consult a professional advisor.

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