WATER companies bucked a wider market sell-off today after regulator Ofwat gave ground to the industry in its final decision on price limits for the next five years.
The watchdog’s decision to push for broadly flat household bills rather than a 4% cut initially put forward in July sent United Utilities and Severn Trent to the top of the FTSE 100 Index leaderboard.
But weakness for heavyweight mining and banking stocks saw the top flight fall 67.1 points to 5297.7 in early trading amid thin volumes with US markets closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.
United Utilities and Severn were among just five Footsie stocks in positive territory - up 11.7p to 495.8p and 38p to 1044p respectively - following Ofwat’s decision.
Northumbrian Water led the FTSE 250, adding 14.2p to 270.1p, while South West Water owner Pennon was 13p better at 499.9p.
Back in the top flight, London Stock Exchange was the leading faller, losing 40p to 774.5p in the wake of yesterday’s results showing the impact of increased competition on profits.
Among the miners Kazakhmys and Rio Tinto lost 46p to 1250p and 100p to 3046p as the sector littered the fallers board.