The FTSE 100 finished the week higher, despite a drag from housebuilders

 
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UK's Biggest Housebuilder Postpones Start On New Homes As Sales Slump
Housebuilder shares dropped on rumours over Help to Buy (Source: Getty)

The FTSE 100 finished the week higher, despite rumours that the Help to Buy scheme could end early dragging housebuilder shares down.

The FTSE closed at 7,511.7 points, up 0.5 per cent. Although the likes of Merlin Entertainment and RBS rose after strong results, its rise was hampered by housebuilders, which slipped across the board on those Help to Buy rumours.

Shares in Barratt closed down 4.5 per cent, while Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon recovered slightly from an earlier fall to close over three per cent lower.

Oil prices also edged down earlier following strong output from the US and record exports from Opec.

Meanwhile sterling was trading lower against the dollar at just over $1.30 after the dollar edged off 30-month lows off the back of non-farm payroll (NFP) jobs figures in the US.

But Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX capital, said the market reaction to NFP looked "extremely kneejerk" and was an overreaction.

"On the margins at least the headline NFP number is losing relevance because the employment matters less to wages, inflation and interest rates than it used."

David Lamb, head of dealing at FEXCO Corporate Payments, was more positive.

"The dollar ended the week as a Comeback Kid. After days of weakness against most major currencies it has been energised by July’s near faultless jobs report," he said.

"The headline numbers were solid, and the return of the unemployment rate to a level not bettered since 2001 is one for the record books."

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