Join our community of smart investors

Today's markets: House price momentum stalls, Wise floats, Pentagon cancels Microsoft deal & more

Follow our Markets Live blog for the latest news that affects your portfolio
Today's markets: House price momentum stalls, Wise floats, Pentagon cancels Microsoft deal & more


  • Halifax house price index cools
  • But housebuilders report positive trading
  • Shell to boost cash returns

UK house prices fall for the first time since January

UK house prices dropped 0.5 per cent from May to June, according to the Halifax House Price Index - the first monthly fall since January. The annual growth rate was published at 8.8 per cent, down from May’s 14-year high of 9.6 per cent. The housing market has been expected to lose steam as the stamp duty holiday is now in the process of being wound down. The tax cut was introduced by the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, in June last year to revive the housing market, which showed signs of freezing at the start of the pandemic. Original rates will resume by 1 October. MM

WISE is live

Wise (WISE), the cross-border currency transfer group formerly known as TransferWise, will begin trading this morning on the London Stock Exchange after taking the unorthodox – but faster – route of having its shares directly listed.

Wise’s entire class A share capital will start to trade on the main market from mid-morning today, though the group’s dual-class structure – which give class B shareholders more than 90 per cent of voting rights – means it will be excluded from FTSE indices. AN

Pentagon cancels Microsoft deal

The US Department of Defense has cancelled Microsoft’s $10bn Jedi cloud computing contract, in a bid to redress the controversial government bidding process that was tainted by claims of interference from Donald Trump. 

The department said it would start a new procurement process, which will not involve handing over such large parts of its data and communications to one single company. It had been reported that it will pursue a deal with both Microsoft and Amazon and possibly other cloud service providers. 

The Pentagon has faced extended legal challenges by Amazon to the original $1m contract awarded to Microsoft. Amazon argued that the Microsoft contract was tainted by Donald Trump’s dislike of Jeff Bezos. MM 

Follow our live blog below: