The FTSE 100 on Monday largely consolidated its gains from the back end of last week as investors continue to weigh the latest hints on Chinese Covid policy.
Hopes that Beijing was done with Covid lockdowns entirely certainly look premature but even a slight shift to a more pragmatic approach would be taken positively by markets.
AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould said: “After months and months of seemingly defying gravity, the housing market, like Wile-E-Coyote chasing Roadrunner across a gorge, has caught on to the pressures facing it and started to fall.
“The steepest decline in prices since February 2021 shows that soaring mortgage costs and other pressures on consumers are affecting buying appetite, even if supply remains constrained.
“Housebuilder shares have largely priced in a big decline in the market and were only slightly lower in early trading.
“Frasers, rumoured to be among the bidders for collapsed online sofa seller Made.com, pleased investors with news of a £70 million share buyback. The capital return on its own is pleasing but it also says something about the financial strength and robust outlook for the business despite a difficult retail backdrop.”