UK public finances expected to improve in July – business live

Tax receipts set to help government borrowing figures, with CBI industrial trends and German confidence survey also due

Not much in the way of corporate news, but we do have figures from UK housebuilder Persimmon. My colleague Julia Kollewe reports:

Persimmon, one of Britain’s biggest housebuilders, says it has fared better than anticipated since last year’s Brexit vote, and is looking forward to a good autumn sales season. It posted a 30% rise in profit before tax to £457.4m in the first six months of the year.

Through the second half of 2016 the group experienced stronger market conditions than expected post the EU referendum on 23 June 2016, particularly through the traditionally slower summer weeks. Against these stronger comparatives, customer interest over the last seven weeks from 1 July has remained robust and our average weekly private sales rate per site was 2% ahead of the same period last year.

A very strong, sector leading performance from Persimmon in the first half, delivering operating margin growth of 380 basis points to 27.6%. In our view, Help to Buy is acting as a bullet proof vest for the new build sector allowing it to ride above the challenges faced by the second hand market, with Persimmon continuing to balance the markets appetite more new homes with investors desires for higher cash returns.

After a pretty gloomy day for European markets on Monday – in keeping with the weather – the prospects for today are looking a little brighter.

A slight recovery on Wall Street – helped by further weakness in the dollar – has given a bit of a lift to sentiment. In Asia the Hang Seng has climbed 1% while the Nikkei is marginally higher. Europe is expected to follow suit:

Our European opening calls:$FTSE 7346 up 27
$DAX 12101 up 35
$CAC 5098 up 11$IBEX 10384 up 24$MIB 21772 up 19

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