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FTSE 100 hits flatline

FTSE 100

The FTSE 100 made a subdued start to trading ahead of the changing of the guard at the White House

FTSE 100 hit the flatline in mid-morning and moved by exactly 0 points to 6,713.

The average house prices in the UK increased by 7.6% over the year to November 2020, up from 5.9% in October, to stand at a record high of £250,000.

It is the highest annual growth rate the UK has seen since June 2016, the Office for National Statistics said, with London’s average house price surpassed £500,000 for the first time in November.

Average house prices increased over the year in England to £267,000, Wales to £180,000, Scotland to £166,000 and Northern Ireland to £143,000.

The increases were due to pent-up demand, people looking to move in larger houses with gardens after experiencing lockdown as well as the stamp duty holiday which is expiring on March 31.

However, experts are concerned the end of this tax break will puncture the recent housing market boom, with some fellow Conservatives pressuring Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak to extend it.

Rightmove suggested on Monday that some sellers are cutting prices in the hope of getting the deal done before the March deadline.

The FTSE 100 made a subdued start to trading on Wednesday ahead of the changing of the guard at the White House.

The UK blue-chip index opened just 8 points higher at 6,721.34.

In the UK, consumer price inflation rose at a faster rate than predicted of 0.6% in November, pushed higher by the rising cost of transport and clothing.

On the market, Pearson starred with the educational publisher posting a near 6% gain after a robust trading update.

The same went for fashion group Burberry, up 5%, after its third-quarter numbers.

Finally, pubs group Wetherspoons nudged 2.7% higher after it said it had secured financial support from the market worth almost £94mln.

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