- The housebuilders bounced back from yesterday's Budget-related sector sell-off as investors had more time to digest the implications of a stamp duty cut for first time buyers and a potential review into land banking.

Taylor Wimpey (TW.) rose 1.7% to 196.5p and Barratt Developments (BDEV) advanced 1.8% to 621p.

The FTSE 100 was static at 7,417 with losses among utilities and banking stocks offset by gains in miners and consumer goods companies.

Brent crude oil slid 0.2% to $63.17 per barrel. Copper cheapened 0.3% to $3.13 per pound and gold was unmoved at $1,291 per ounce.


The US stock markets were closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday.


A profit warning at British Gas owner Centrica (CNA) caused its shares to collapse 15.6% to 137.7p. The company said it was seeing 'significant margin pressure' in North America and that an improved operational performance in the UK had not yet been reflected in its financial results.

Online estate agent ZPG (ZPG) said it would not make another takeover offer for comparison site GoCompare (GOCO) and ended talks, which barely affected either firm's share price.

Pub operator Mitchell & Butlers (MAB) reported higher costs for food, drink, property and labour which hit its operating profits, pushing the shares 13% lower to 224.5p.

Engineer Rotork (ROR) advanced 0.8% to 262.5p on an increase in third quarter orders and encouraging progress in the water, power and industrial process markets.

Paragon Banking (PAG) ticked 0.8% higher to 464.5p on strong full year results and a £50m share buyback programme.


Babywear retailer Mothercare (MTC) swung to a first half loss and warned of a recent softening in the UK market thanks to lower footfall and squeezed consumer spending. Shares in the firm fell 16.5% to 69.7p.

On AIM, investors raised a glass to wine specialist Majestic Wine (WINE) on strong half year results as sales, profit and the dividend all increased. The stock rose 11% to 425.5p.

Financial trading business CMC Markets (CMCX) gained 4% to 173.5p, driven by a 58% jump in pre-tax profit to £29.8m in the six months to 30 September.

Tailoring specialist Bagir (BAGR) announced a proposed strategic partnership with Shangdong Ruyi Technology and a potential investment of $16.5m to acquire 54% of the company's shares. Investors were excited by the news as the shares soared 86.5% to 2.5p.

Ophir Energy (OPHR) agreed a year extension for its Fortuna FLNG project in Equatorial Guinea, pushing the shares 4.3% higher to 66.2p.

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