By Steve Goldstein
Real estate plays struggled while airlines rose as U.K. stocks edged lower Wednesday.
Property developer Land Securities /zigman2/quotes/207145631/delayed UK:LAND -3.18% fell 3% as other real-estate stocks including builders Taylor Wimpey /zigman2/quotes/208623755/delayed UK:TW -5.40% and Persimmon /zigman2/quotes/206444744/delayed UK:PSN -4.11% fell. The new social-care funding proposed by U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson includes a dividend tax as well as increased national insurance levies on both employees and employers.
“The tax rise will hit profits and dividends. In making this move, the U.K. has moved out of step with other developed nations which have steered well clear of tax rises so far,” said Seema Shah, chief strateigst at Principal Global Investors.
The FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -3.64% fell 0.4% to 7,118.26.
B&M European Value Retail /zigman2/quotes/208742159/delayed UK:BME +1.42% was the best FTSE 100 advancer, up 7%, as it reported margin strength will allow it to report half-year adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization between £275 million and $285 million, topping consensus expectations at approximately £235 million.
Airlines including easyJet /zigman2/quotes/202825892/delayed UK:EZJ -11.45% and Wizz Air /zigman2/quotes/210449062/delayed UK:WIZZ -15.23% advanced as the Daily Telegraph reported that a system based around the vaccination status of travellers, instead of the intended country being visited, was under consideration.