FTSE 250 watch: Prospect of continued Fed stimulus props up stocks

Written by: Kalina Jordanova
October 21, 2019

iNVEZZ.com, Friday, November 15: The FTSE 250 (INDEXFTSE:MCX) has risen today as the prospect of the US Federal Reserve maintaining its massive asset buying programme has supported the UK’s mid-cap stocks. Janet Yellen yesterday indicated, during her confirmation hearing to be the next Federal Reserve chairman, that she will continue with the current rate of monetary stimulus until she sees a robust recovery. The bond-buying programme adopted by the Fed has hit returns on bonds, helping to spur this year’s rally in equities. The FTSE 250 was at 15,282.08, up 0.16 percent as of 13:57 UTC.

**FTSE 250 winners**
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African Barrick Gold (LON:ABG) has advanced today after announcing
that it is has reached an agreement to sell its stake in the Tulawaka mine to the Tanzanian state. Production at the mine ceased in the second quarter this year. Under the deal the Tanzanian State Mining Corporation will acquire Tulawaka, in which African Barrick holds a 70 percent interest, and certain exploration licences surrounding the gold mine for $4.5 million (£2.8 million). African Barrick’s share price was 201.44p, up 3.94% as of 13.32 UTC.

Shares in WS Atkins (LON:ATK) have extended their gains from the previous session rising 3.44 percent to 1,324.00p as of 13:28 UTC. The engineering and project management consultancy yesterday announced an 8.2 percent rise in first-half underlying pre-tax profits and a 12.2 percent rise in revenue, boosted by a 16 percent growth in UK revenue, which accounts for half of the business. Shares yesterday rose 2.1 percent. The company also said its full-year outlook is slightly ahead of expectations following upbeat first-half results.

Shares in Genus (LON:GNS) have risen by 3.69 percent to 1,294.00p as of 13:40 UTC after the animal genetics company said today in a trading update that market conditions for its customers producing beef and pork “have improved with rising output prices in most markets and falling input costs“, and that it expects these factors to prompt clients to expand next year. Genus added that volumes of both its products and services, for the period from July 1 to November 14, were five percent higher year-on-year, with revenues up at the same rate at constant currencies. Adjusted pretax profit for the first four months of Genus’ fiscal year was unchanged from the equivalent period in 2012 as the improvement in volumes was offset by costs and investments that the company incurred to boost growth in China.

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Capital & Counties Properties’ (LON:CAPC) stock advanced 2.68 percent to 332.80p as of 13:50 UTC after the property investor and developer revealed that its Covent Garden estate continues to perform strongly with 14 new store openings since June. The company said it had secured new lettings and renewals at its Covent Garden site, representing annualised rental income of £2.7 million, with an occupancy rate of 99 at the end of September.

**FTSE 250 losers**
Ultra Electronics Holdings (LON:ULE) has dropped the most since August 2011 after the defence contractor, whose products include safety devices in aircraft, nuclear controls and submarine sonars, cut its full-year sales forecast citing delays in government contracts. In particular, the recent US government shutdown has led to delays in orders, approvals and payments, while in Oman, the installation phase of a contract has been pushed back from the fourth quarter of this year until next year. As a result, the company expects sales to be slightly below last year’s level of £760.8 million pounds. Shares in Ultra Electronics Holdings were down 3.96 percent to 1,821.00p as at 13:48 UTC.
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