FTSE 250 watch: Mid-cap index falls in grim day for equity markets

on Mar 26, 2015

Mid-cap companies have mirrored the performance of their larger peers today, dragging down the FTSE 250 Index significantly. Market sentiment has been quite bearish today, with weak US data, “Grexit” jitters and news of air strikes in Yemen all contributing to the sombre mood. The FTSE 250 was down 1.58 percent at 17,225.326 points, as of 15:11 UTC. The FTSE 100 benchmark was facing similar losses as of the same time.

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There have been some bright spots in the mid-cap index today, but they weren’t enough to compensate for the fallers, including Ladbrokes Plc (LON:LAD) and Bodycote Plc (LON:BOY), whose shares as of 15:21 UTC had declined 6.1 percent and 5.7 percent, respectively.
Among the standout FTSE 250 performers today has been fashion retailer Supergroup Plc (LON:SGP), which was up 5.3 percent at 983.20p, as of 15:22 UTC. The stock surged after the company announced that it planned to pay the first dividend since its 2010 initial public offering. The company said that shareholders would receive a payment in respect of the first half of the fiscal year ending April 2016.
“The commencement of dividends shows management has confidence in the brand and growing earnings, but also acts as a positive signal of capital discipline,” analysts at Stifel Nicolaus said in today in a note.
Just Eat Plc (LON:JE) has been a big riser in the FTSE 250, with its shares jumping nearly four percent, as of 15:30 UTC. The company received a boost from investment bank Goldman Sachs, which raised its target price on the stock to 455p from 425p. The bank currently has a buy rating on the Just Eat shares.


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