FTSE 250 watch: UK mid-cap share index rises

on Nov 11, 2013
Updated: Oct 21, 2019

iNVEZZ.com, Monday, November 11: The FTSE 250 index has advanced today with investors weighing better-than-forecast Chinese industrial output data and prospects of the Fed tapering monetary stimulus early next year after US jobs data came out on Friday beating analysts’ expectations. The British mid-cap equities index had climbed 0.49 percent to stand at 15,416.99 as of 14.27 UTC.

Lonmin (LON:LMI) led the risers on the FTSE 250 after the world’s third-largest primary platinum producer said it had swung back into an annual net profit, recovering from a violent strike at its Marikana platinum mine in South Africa. Earnings after tax came in at $166 million (£103.7 million) in the 12 months to the end of September, compared with a net loss of $410 million (£256 million) in its 2011/2012 fiscal year. The company forecast sales will increase almost 8 percent or more in 2014 with cost inflation kept below increases in South African wages. Lonmin had gained 4.45 percent to 342.70p as of 14:51 UTC.

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Online gambling operator 888 Holdings plc (LON:888) also rose, helped by its announcement that it has joined rival bwin.party digital entertainment PLC in obtaining clearance to be an operator in the New Jersey online gaming market when it opens up later this month. In a statement, 888 said its 888 Atlantic Ltd and AAPN New Jersey LLC units have been granted a transactional waiver by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement and are authorised to act as online casino gaming services providers to Caesars Interactive Entertainment New Jersey LLC. Shares in 888 Holdings had risen 4.49 percent to 160.70p as of 15:04 UTC.

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Bwin.party Digital Entertainment Plc (LON:BPTY) had risen 3.05 percent to 125.20p as of 15:12 UTC. The company, which was granted its transactional waiver on Friday and plans to launch poker and casino games under both its own brands and its New Jersey partner’s, Borgata Casino, was also supported by a reiteration of its ‘buy’ rating by Numis Securities. Analysts at Numis currently have a 200p price target on the stock that would indicate a potential upside of 64.61% from the company’s current price.

Fallers on the FTSE 250 today have been led by Serco Group plc (LON:SRP) following media speculation over the weekend of a possible profit warning this week. Britain’s Serious Fraud Office said last week it had opened a criminal investigation into Serco’s electronic monitoring contracts and will now decide whether to prosecute the firm charging for tagging criminals under the contracts. In July, the British government placed under review all contracts held by Serco and its peer G4S after an audit showed they had charged for tagging criminals who were either dead, in prison or had never been tagged in the first place. As of 15:21 UTS Serco’s share price had shed 5.95 percent to 506.00p.

Defence group Cobham plc (LON:COB) has also disappointed today after warning that US budget cuts would hit its business. It said it now expected a low-to-mid single digit percentage fall in 2014 revenues, compared to earlier forecasts for modest growth. Its shares have dropped 4.68 percent to 271.10p as of 15:38 UTC. Chris Dyett at Investec commented: “”Management is addressing the cost base aggressively, but various headwinds are intensifying and we see little relief short term. We expect our 2014 and 2015 earnings per share estimates to be reduced by around 8%-9%.”
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Prices can go up and down meaning you can get back less than you invest. This is not advice. Dealing services provided by Hargreaves Lansdown.
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