Daily Mail

FTSE 250 surges amid easing inflation hopes

- By John Abiona

THE FTSE 250 enjoyed its best day since July amid growing hopes inflation will ease in the UK.

London’s mid-cap index, which is more domestical­ly focused and exposed to the British economy, surged 3.47pc, or 622.48 points, to 18,536.13.

It clocked up its biggest gains since July 19 when it climbed 3.78pc following upbeat inflation figures. Yesterday’s rally came as inflation in the US fell faster than expected last month in a sign the US Federal Reserve will end its interest rate hikes.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.4pc, the S&P 500 gained 1.9pc and the Nasdaq added 2.4pc.

It also fuelled hopes over the UK’s prospects, with today’s official figures expected to show inflation fell below 5pc in October.

Danni Hewson, head of financial analysis at AJ Bell, said: ‘Markets on both sides of the Atlantic rallied as expectatio­n mounted that America’s fight against rising prices is pretty much over, and despite a few bumpy patches the landing strip ahead looks about as soft as anyone could have hoped for.’

Back in London, the FTSE 250 was also lifted by a handful of positive updates.

The index’s biggest riser was the science investor IP Group after Autifony, which was spun out of GSK (down 1.7pc, or 23.8p, to 1383.4p) in 2011, signed a global licensing deal with Nasdaq-listed Jazz Pharmaceut­icals worth up to £617m. Shares surged 11.4pc, or 5.2p, to 50.9p.

It was a good day for Babcock shareholde­rs after the defence group said it will pay out its first dividend in four years as it cashes in on the rising geopolitic­al tensions. Shares added 3.9pc, or 15.8p, to 425.4p. Safety barrier maker Hill & Smith said its annual profit should beat the £118.6m pencilled in by analysts.

The upgraded outlook came after the group’s revenue rose 15pc in the four months to the end of October. Shares ascended 5.5pc, or 96p, to 1854p.

London’s top tier also made gains with the FTSE 100 up 0.20pc, or 14.64 points, to 7440.47.

Irish conglomera­te DCC Energy expanded its footprint in Europe’s largest energy market.

The blue-chip company’s energy business landed its biggest deal in Germany after it agreed to buy Progas, a distributo­r of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), for around £140m. The deal followed a standout first-half performanc­e from DCC Energy, which raked in bumper profits despite lower commodity prices hitting revenues.

Shares gained 12.5pc, or 582p, to 5248p.

Ocado surged 10.1pc, or 51.8p, to 564.6p as the online grocer clawed back some of its losses.

Land Securities pinned its hopes on cashing in on the opportunit­ies in commercial real estate next year as the property landlord expects ‘higher for longer’ interest rates to become normalised. Shares climbed 6.5pc, or 39.4p, to 644.4p.

Tobacco giant Imperial Brands was full of good news after its annual profit rose by more than a quarter and shareholde­rs were rewarded with an increased dividend and share buyback. Shares added 0.8pc, or 13.5p, to 1801.5p.

Exhibition­s organiser Informa upgraded its revenue and profit forecasts for this year and extended its share buyback programme as business boomed.

Shares in the group, which is behind events such as the Dubai Airshow, China Beauty Expo and London Tech Week, rose 5.3pc, or 37.4p, to 739.4p.

Revenues at the colostomy bag maker Convatec rose 6.7pc in the ten months to the end of October. Such growth means it now expects revenue to increase between 6.75 and 7.5pc – up from a previous forecast of 6pc and 7.5pc. Shares rose 5.2pc, or 10.8p, to 219.4p.

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom