MARKET REPORT: FTSE 250 hits another record high

The FTSE 250 stole the spotlight from its more glamorous FTSE 100 brother as it raced to a new all-time record.

The midcap index rose 148.64 points, or 0.6 percent, to 24,250.83 and rose to 18 percent this year. The benchmark is now up 89 percent since last year’s Covid low.

The showing was supported by cinema chain Cineworld, which rose 2.4 percent or 1.62p to 67.92p.

The FTSE 250 index rose 148.64 points, or 0.6 percent, to 24,250.83, bringing its gains to 18 percent this year.  The benchmark is now up 89 percent since last year's Covid low

The FTSE 250 index rose 148.64 points, or 0.6 percent, to 24,250.83, bringing its gains to 18 percent this year. The benchmark is now up 89 percent since last year’s Covid low

Online gambling company 888 also raised its index, turning 3.5 percent, or 14.4 pence, higher to 422p after reporting a record-breaking first-half results accompanied by a 41 percent increase in its interim dividend.

And storage unit manager Big Yellow Group rose 3 percent, or 46p, to 1571p, after receiving an upgrade from analysts at Morgan Stanley.

Other stocks fueling mid-cap momentum included train ticket website Trainline, which rose 4.5 percent or 16.4p to 382.2p, review website Trustpilot, up 6.5 percent or 28p, at 460p , and door and window components maker Tyman, up 7.7 percent, or 32p, to 447p.

Stock Watch – Approval

Instem, a provider of healthcare IT services, rose 6 percent, or 47.5p, to 837.5p, after acquiring competitor PDS Pathology Data Systems in a deal worth around £11.4m .

The move will allow it to strengthen its relationships with joint customers of the two, as approximately 70 percent of PDS Pathology Data Systems’ top 20 customers are also Instem customers.

Chief executive Phil Reason said: “We’ve talked several times about a potential combination and are delighted that they’ve committed to joining us at a time when both our businesses and the life sciences market are thriving.”

The index, meanwhile, weighed in loyal retail WH Smith, which fell 3.8 percent, or 62p, to 1570p after warning that earnings for his fiscal year will be at the lower end of expectations.

Other mid-cap declines included iron ore miner Ferrexpo, which fell 0.6 percent or 2.2p to 378.2p, and stockbroker TP ICAP, which fell 0.1 percent or 0.25p to 203p.

One company that suffered from the disruption, however, was pub chain JD Wetherspoon, who said the pressure on the supply chain was causing some beers to run out. Despite this, shares were up 0.5 percent, or 5p, at 1118p.

Meanwhile, the blue-chip FTSE 100 rose 0.4 percent, or 30.14 points, to 7149.84, mostly shaking off concerns about rising prices and lingering supply chain problems.

Oil markets were also in the spotlight, with Brent oil falling 2.94 percent to $70.89 a barrel, as members of the OPEC+ oil cartel, which includes countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran and Russia, gathered to determine their production policy.

Earlier in the day, the price had risen with Royal Dutch Shell up 0.5 percent or 7.4 pence to 1423.6 pence, while BP fell 0.9 percent or 2.7 pence to 294.25 pence.

At AIM, fuel cell developer Ceres Power received a jolt of energy, up 3 percent, or 35p, to 1214p after saying its South Korean partner Doosan Corp is planning a soft launch of a new fuel cell system next year.

Alpha FX rose 2.2 percent, or 40p, to 1830p after currency exchange profits jumped 225 percent to £15.3 million in the first half.

Small-cap digger Altus Strategies was a bright spot, rising 5.9 percent, or 4.5p, to 81p after confirming what it believes was a significant gold find in southern Mali.

Tech investor Forward Partners climbed 4.3 percent, or 4.5p, to 110p after saying the portfolio’s value grew £3.7m following the debut of one of its holdings, online car retailer Cazoo. the New York Stock Exchange last week.

Fellow investment outfit BP Marsh also got a boost when it struck a deal to sack Australian luxury car insurance company MB Prestige in a deal worth £9million. The stock rose 3.2 percent, or 10p, at 321p.

On the other hand, Galantas Gold may have hoped for a better first day trading reception in the New York-based OTCQX market. Shares in London were not supported by the news and fell 2.8 percent, or 1p, to 34.5p.

Chill Brands, a maker of products containing cannabidiol, a chemical found in cannabis plants used to treat certain diseases and ailments, flew anything but high when it dropped by 24.2 percent or 9.5p to 29.75p as response to the full-year results, released after Tuesday’s close of trading, which showed losses had climbed to £5.9 million from £1.8 million last year.

Hotelier PPHE suffered similar results-based woes, up 4.9 percent or 74p, to 1446p after reporting first-half losses increased nearly 25 percent.

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