FTSE 250 Watch: Polymetal and Thomas Cook Drag Down Index

on Aug 27, 2013
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iNVEZZ.com Tuesday, August 27th: The FTSE 250 today fell as UK investors returned from a long weekend. As of 11:40 BST, the index was down 123.85 points, or 0.83 percent, at 14,953.10.

**Polymetal International** led the losses, dropping 6.8 percent. The precious metals miner today had the rating on its stock downgraded to “neutral” from “overweight” by HSBC, The Wall Street Journal reported. The company announced that it is launching a level one depositary receipt programme in the US. The ADRs will be traded under the symbol AUCOY and each ADR will be equal to one ordinary share in the holding company. Since the beginning of the year Polymetal’s share price has dropped by over 35 percent, mostly due to declining gold prices. At 12:04 BST the miner’s shares were down 6.79 percent at 754.40p.

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**Thomas Cook** was also among the top FTSE 250 losers. Equity researchers at Morgan Stanley on Friday reaffirmed the travel agency’s “overweight” rating. The company is facing dozens of claims for compensation from clients who have been struck by an outbreak of severe food poisoning at a company-operated hotel in Turkey. A number of guests at the five-star Sentido Perissia hotel had to be hospitalised after being struck down by sickness and diarrhoea. “The health and well-being of our customers is our top priority and we take all reports of illness very seriously. We immediately arranged for an independent UK hygiene consultant to carry out a comprehensive review of the hotel and the cause is believed to be viral,” a spokesman for the company has said, as quoted by the Daily Mail. At 12:26 BST Thomas Cook’s shares were down 4.91 percent at 141.32p.

Recent indications that the Eurozone is growing again make it less and less likely that the European Central Bank will cut interest rates any further below the current record low level of 0.5 percent. The ECB is expected reveal more information about its plans at the monthly policy meeting scheduled for next week. Expectations are growing that the US Federal Reserve will start tapering its stimulus programme from next month. The market’s quiet period might extend further into September as traders are waiting for the Fed to announce on September 18 whether it will pare its asset purchases.

!m[ECB to Unveil Policy Plans Next Week](/uploads/story/5115/thumbs/pic1_inline.jpg)
**African Barrick Gold** was one of today’s winners with a 1.7 percent gain as of early afternoon. The gold mining business has suffered from the slump in gold prices and has said that its production could fall for a fifth consecutive year. The company, which operates in Tanzania, recently replaced its CEO Greg Hawkins, hoping that bringing in a leader with more operational mining experience might improve its performance. Brad Gordon, mining engineer and former CEO of Intrepid Mines, has been chosen as the new head of the company. At 12:57 BST African Barrick’s shares were up 2.04 percent at 159.64p.
**The FTSE 250 was 157.93 points, or 1.06 percent lower, at 14,795.17 as of 27.08.2013, 13.08 BST.**

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FTSE 250 Watch: Eurozone and China Data Push Index Up FTSE 250 Watch: Retailers and Investment Firms Leading Gains

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