Housing shares were the worst performers after Jefferies said it no longer recommends investors buy U.K. residential-linked shares under its coverage. Home builder Taylor Wimpey TW., -5.65% fell 4.3%, Barratt Developments PLC BDEV, -4.33% lost 4% and Persimmon PLC PSN, -4.09% moved 3.3% lower. “Negative” newsflow on mortgage approvals, housing transactions, weak house-price data and lower U.K. economic growth will put pressure on the sector during the first quarter, said Jefferies analysts Anthony Codling and Sam Cullen in a note Friday. Share-price weakness will persist in the second quarter, stemming from uncertainty around the U.K. general election set for May, they said.
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