LONDON (SHARECAST) - (ShareCast News) - London's FTSE 100 was down 0.2% to 7,401.24 in afternoon trade, weighed down by the pound, which rallied after data showed inflation spiked to a six-year high in August.
Construction equipment specialist Ashtead racked up health gains as it reported strong growth in rental revenue and profits in the first quarter of its financial year, adding that clean-up efforts after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma were likely to increase levels of demand for its fleet.
Banks Barclays, Lloyds and RBS were all trading higher after the inflation data.
Housebuilders were in the red, with Barratt Developments, Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon all lower. But it was FTSE 250 peer Redrow dragging the sector down, after The Steve Morgan Foundation - a charitable trust founded by the housebuilder's chairman - and Morgan's investment vehicle, Bridgemere Securities, sold 25.9m existing ordinary shares at 590p each, representing around 7% of the issued share capital.
Traders also pointed to news that Cairn Homes founders Michael Stanley, Kevin Stanley and Alan McIntosh sold a stake in the housebuilder, saying the placings could suggest a market top for housebuilders.
Sky was on the back foot after Culture Secretary Karen Bradly told Parliament she is minded to refer 21st Century Fox's proposed takeover of the broadcaster to the competition watchdog on grounds of both broadcasting standards and media plurality.
Ashtead Group (AHT) 1,780.00p 5.70%
Barclays (BARC) 192.10p 2.92%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 64.84p 1.90%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 248.30p 1.85%
Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG) 2,374.00p 1.84%
Provident Financial (PFG) 839.00p 1.70%
Ferguson (FERG) 4,630.00p 1.62%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,441.00p 1.51%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 2,905.00p 1.43%
Mondi (MNDI) 2,076.00p 1.27%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 591.50p -2.39%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 191.70p -2.09%
Persimmon (PSN) 2,503.00p -2.04%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 4,798.50p -2.02%
St James's Place (STJ) 1,127.00p -2.00%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 7,840.00p -2.00%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,007.00p -1.85%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,580.00p -1.68%
Sky (SKY) 936.50p -1.68%
Unilever (ULVR) 4,460.00p -1.46%