FTSE 250 watch: Index extends decline on stimulus tapering worries

on Dec 3, 2013
Updated: Oct 21, 2019
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iNVEZZ.com, Tuesday, December 3: The FTSE 250 index (INDEXFTSE:MCX) dropped for a second straight day with investors awaiting US employment data this week to gauge the timing of the Federal Reserve’s tapering of economic stimulus. The decline in UK stock indices that started last month is continuing to accelerate in December with investors concerned that recent signs of economic recovery will prompt central banks to start scaling back their stocks-friendly bond buying programmes.

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The index measuring the performance of the UK’s mid-cap stocks was down one percent to 15,183.90 as of 15:10 UTC.
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Miners fell after UBS cut target prices across the sector to adjust for reductions in its gold and silver price forecasts for 2014 and 2015. The bank said it now sees few positive catalysts for precious metal prices over the medium term, with the Federal Reserve expected to start tapering quantitative easing in January.

Kazakhmys (LON:KAZ) was down 4.24 percent to 214.50p as of 15:34 UTC, African Barrick (LON:ABG) has lost 4.31 percent to 155.30p. Hochschild Mining (LON:HOC) was down 5.68 percent and Lonmin (LON:LMI) was 1.39 percent lower at 304.31p.
Greene King (LON:GNK) has lost 3.63 percent to 850p as of 15:09 UTC after the British brewer and pub operator reported a 21 percent fall in pretax profit for the 24 weeks ended October 13 which it attributed to exceptional charges of £20 million. However, first-half revenue was up 5.2 percent to £595.4 million and the company declared an interim dividend of 7.60p, up 6.3 percent.

Betfair (LON:BET) has risen 4.37 percent to 1,075p as of 14:28PM UTC after the online betting and gaming operator reported a return to profit in the first half of the year on the back of cost cuts and a strong performance in the US (Betfair share price up on strong results, expansion plans). First-half pretax profit was £31.7 million, compared with a loss of £64.1 million last year. The company increased its interim dividend by 50 percent to six pence a share.

ITE Group (LON:ITE) was up 2.48 percent to 302p after the organiser of trade exhibitions and conferences posted a rise of 8.4 percent in full-year pretax profit to £43.9 million on the back of a 12 percent growth in sales to £192.3 million. The company also said it increased its annual dividend per share to 7.0p from 6.5 p, on the back of the positive growth in earnings. ITE said the good trading conditions have continued.

IP Group (LON:IPO) was up 2.70 percent to 184.96p as of 14:32 UTC after the company said that it had signed commercialisation partnerships with the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University. The agreements, which both have an initial pilot phase of 18 months, will focus on identifying early-stage proof of principle opportunities based on intellectual property.
Shares in Micro Focus International (LON:MCRO) have gained 1.66 percent to 827p as of 15:00 UTC after the software products maker raised its dividend and increased its revenue guidance on the back of a recent overhaul of operations and a strong sales pipeline. The stock advanced despite a fall in first-half pretax profit attributed to a rise in financial, administrative and research and development costs.
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