London close: Record close for FTSE 250 ahead of Christmas break

Tue 24 Dec 2019

LONDON (SHARECAST) - (Sharecast News) - Stocks in London continued to climb on Tuesday, especially on the second tier index, despite few traders being left at their desks ahead of the Christmas break.
The Footsie traded nine points higher to finish at 7,632.24, with the pound edging up 0.09% to 1.29564 versus the US dollar alongside.

In parallel, the FTSE 250 notched up a fresh record high, rising by 0.63% to 21,981.09.

"As UK markets head towards their early close, a sense of calm pervades equity indices across Europe. We can expect a fairly calm session in the US too, with little chance of a repeat of last year's drama. If only investors had known then what they knew now," said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG.

"There has been so shortage of people proclaiming that they had been buying throughout December 2018, but those same people were oddly quiet last year. Looking back on the past year, there have been a host of predictions claiming that the early 2019 rebound would not last long. Once again, markets have played their favourite game, catching almost everyone out. As we peer into the crystal ball for next year, the future remains uncertain, but it is fairly certain that 2020 will not resemble 2019."

To take note of, overnight Chinese premier, Li Keqiang, met with his opposite numbers in Japan and South Korea, with the three pledging to work for the denuclearisation and a lasting peace on the Korean peninsula.

They reportedly also agreed to promote a dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang.

The news came as North American Aerospace Defense Command was keeping an eye out for a possible 'Christmas gift' from the North before year-end, even as it tried to keep track of Santa's sleigh.

Li also vowed that the People's Republic of China would continue to open up its economy, while the country's cabinet said it would provide additional financial support for private and small firms, expand investment and stabilise foreign trade in order to promote greater employment.

No major economic reports were released in the UK, US or euro area on Tuesday.

M&A alive and well right up until year-end

Heat treatment and thermal processing provider Bodycote entered into an agreement to acquire Ellison Surface Technologies, it announced on Tuesday, to create one of the world's largest providers of thermal spray and engineered coating surface technology services to the aerospace industry. The gross consideration for the acquisition was be $200.0m (154.0m). When adjusted for tax benefits worth at least 30.0m, net consideration for the transaction would be about 170.0m, and the consideration would be settled using Bodycote's existing committed credit facilities.

Infrastructure investor John Laing Group agreed to invest AUD 51.5m (28.0m) in the East Rockingham Resource Recovery Facility in Perth, Australia, it announced on Monday. The FTSE 250 firm said the investment would take its total investment commitment in 2019 to approximately 185.0m.

TP ICAP announced the proposed acquisition of Louis Capital Markets and MidCap Partners, collectively 'Louis Capital', on Monday, which it described as a private brokerage group specialising in equities and fixed income, primarily based in Europe. It said the initial consideration for the acquisition would be $21.0m (16.22m) in cash, payable at completion, with deferred non-contingent consideration of $6m to be paid over two years

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,633.09 0.12%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 21,981.09 0.63%
techMARK (TASX) 4,219.69 -0.03%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 63.42p 1.96%
Bunzl (BNZL) 2,150.00p 1.65%
Informa (INF) 870.20p 1.42%
Flutter Entertainment (FLTR) 9,224.00p 1.34%
Experian (EXPN) 2,599.00p 1.33%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 1,265.50p 1.24%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 929.60p 1.22%
Croda International (CRDA) 5,105.00p 1.19%
Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) 336.20p 1.14%
ITV (ITV) 152.25p 1.13%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

BT Group (BT.A) 195.90p -3.04%
Evraz (EVR) 394.30p -1.10%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 946.60p -1.00%
National Grid (NG.) 956.50p -0.95%
Unilever (ULVR) 4,389.50p -0.89%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 2,218.00p -0.76%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 7,680.00p -0.70%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 700.00p -0.62%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 6,170.00p -0.58%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 3,265.00p -0.58%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Clarkson (CKN) 2,985.00p 3.47%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 207.00p 3.29%
Go-Ahead Group (GOG) 2,260.00p 3.01%
Convatec Group (CTEC) 200.50p 2.69%
Redrow (RDW) 760.00p 2.56%
GVC Holdings (GVC) 885.20p 2.55%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 165.50p 2.48%
888 Holdings (888) 166.70p 2.46%
Greggs (GRG) 2,334.00p 2.46%
Kainos Group (KNOS) 752.00p 2.45%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Contour Global (GLO) 205.00p -2.38%
Finablr (FIN) 171.60p -2.22%
NewRiver REIT (NRR) 204.00p -2.16%
TBC Bank Group (TBCG) 1,292.00p -2.12%
Computacenter (CCC) 1,794.00p -1.91%
Card Factory (CARD) 157.80p -1.87%
Bakkavor Group (BAKK) 140.40p -1.82%
Vivo Energy (VVO) 121.00p -1.63%
PPHE Hotel Group Ltd (PPH) 1,860.00p -1.59%
Galliford Try (GFRD) 850.00p -1.51%
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