FTSE 250 Watch: China and UK Housing Figures Prop up Mid-Caps

on Sep 10, 2013
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iNVEZZ.com, Tuesday, September 10th: The Footsie 250 rose on Tuesday, with UK stocks benefitting from industrial output data from China and domestic house price figures. African Barrick however bucked the trend in the FTSE 250 as Investec cut the company rating to sell from hold.

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**FTSE 250 Surges on China, UK Data**
The FTSE 250 added 181.77 points or 1.20 percent to 15,274.63 as of 12:03 BST, whereas the broader FTSE All-share index was 0.88 percent up at 3,509.78. UK stocks today found support in data from China, where industrial output rose 10.4 percent in August from a year earlier, surpassing economist expectations. Retail sales in the world’s second-largest economy jumped 13.4 percent.

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In the UK, a gauge measuring house prices rose to its highest level since November 2006 last month as a result of the government’s Help to Buy plan. “The improvement in the housing market boils down to confidence,” Leigh Himsworth, head of UK equities at City Financial, told Bloomberg in a telephone interview. “It’s a feel-good factor in many people’s lives and goes a long way to explaining why investors and corporates are happier to invest.”

The FT quoted Jim Stride, head of UK equities at Axa Investment Managers, as explaining that there were “now headwinds for big global businesses and a small tailwind for UK companies”.
“There are many causes for optimism right now, but I would caution against euphoria,” he added. “It looks promising, but these things can easily be blown off course.”

**Top Gainers and Losers**
!m[African Barrick Slumps as Stock Rating Downgraded ](/uploads/story/5373/thumbs/pic1_inline.jpg)
One of the top performers in the FTSE 250 today was Thomas Cook whose shares rose 4.55 percent to 156.72p as of 12:38 BST. As the Financial Times has reported, the travel company which nearly collapsed two years ago, has climbed over 250 percent this year as it reduced debt and cut costs. Online grocer Ocado jumped 5.74 percent to 370.10p.

Among the worst FTSE 250 performers was Barrick Gold’s London-listed unit African Barrick Gold whose shares slumped 5.17 percent to 174.10p as of 12:46 BST. As Stock Market Wire reported today, Investec cut the company rating from hold to sell with a target of 137p on the stock, up from their previous target of 135p.
**The FTSE 250 was 1.31 percent up at 15,290.00 as of 12:40 BST on 10 September 2013.**

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FTSE 100 Watch: BG Output Drop Forecast Weighs on the Footsie FTSE 100 Watch: Signs of Economic Recovery Lift Footsie

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