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A second day of growth for housebuilders

Housebuilders gained ground for the second day in a row on relief that Bank of England measures to control the housing market were less severe than had been feared.

Barratt Developments rose more than 3 per cent and Persimmon was up by almost 2 per cent as the pair once again dominated the blue-chip risers board.

An otherwise quiet session saw the FTSE 100 Index climb 22.7 points to 6757.8, despite a lack of impetus from Wall Street as it emerged that US consumer spending edged higher at half the rate economists had predicted.

The modest improvement in London provided some relief for investors after a sharp fall on Wednesday and an uncertain session yesterday when banking stock Barclays took a mauling over allegations in New York that it misled large institutional investors who used its dark pool dealing service.

The stock edged up 1.1p to 216.1p after hitting a two-year low in the wake of a 7 per cent slump on Thursday.

On the currency market, the pound was unchanged against the US dollar and euro - at 1.70 and 1.25 respectively - after GDP for the first quarter of 2014 was left unrevised at 0.8 per cent, dashing City upgrade hopes.

The Bank of England's efforts yesterday to tackle fears of a property bubble continue to be met with relief in the construction and estate agency sectors.

As the rules on loan ratios and stress tests are being seen as insurance against a future explosion in price growth, Persimmon lifted another 19p to 1278p and Barratt Developments gained 11.6p to 374.5p.

In the FTSE 250, Redrow lifted 14.7p to 282.3p, while Bellway added 19p to 1570p and estate agency Foxtons rose to 302.3p.

Back in the top flight, TUI Travel was at the top of the leaderboard after announcing it will merge with its German parent company TUI . The new company will be domiciled in Germany and listed on the London Stock Exchange. Shares in TUI Travel lifted 13.5p to 403.5p.

Rolls-Royce stock was 23p higher at 1069p after Reuters reported that Airbus is set to upgrade its A330 planes with the engine maker as supplier.

In the FTSE 250 Index, National Express jumped almost 4 per cent or 8.9p to 256.9p after its c2c service secured the 15-year Essex Thameside rail franchise.

C2c's victory means FirstGroup, one of the other bidders, has missed out again, having been overlooked for the recently-awarded "mega" franchise of Thames, Southern and Great Northern. Its shares were 0.4p lower at 130.1p.

The biggest risers in the FTSE 100 were TUI Travel up 13.5p at 403.5p, Barratt Developments up 11.6p to 374.5p, Aviva up 12.2p to 512p and Rolls-Royce up 23p to 1069p.

The biggest fallers in the FTSE 100 were BG Group down 28p at 1246.5p, Petrofac down 15p at 1208p, easyJet down 15p at 1459p and Moni down 10p at 1072p.

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