At the close: FTSE 250 edges towards pre-referendum level

 
Jake Cordell
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Brexit to thank as FTSE 250 hits a fresh post-referendum high?
Brexit to thank as FTSE 250 hits a fresh post-referendum high? (Source: Getty)

The FTSE 250 has taken another step towards wiping out its post-referendum losses as speculation about the latest deal in the gambling industry pushed the mid-caps higher.

William Hill investors jumped at the prospect of a being bought out by 888 and Rank Group, with shares popping 11 per cent at the open this morning. They since edged back to close the day up 5.3 per cent at 330p.

The gain helped push the index closer to reaching its pre-referendum level, with the FTSE 250 ending the day at 17,090, up 0.6 per cent and just 1.4 per cent down on where it clocked out on 23 June.

The turnaround has been remarkable following a dramatic 2,400-point, 13.7 per cent crash in the two trading days after the referendum. Its performance also outshone the larger FTSE 100 which edged back 0.3 per cent to 6,710 today as a cheaper oil price knocked the wind from the London market's dominant commodities firms.

"Perhaps the most surprising thing for investors over recent weeks has been the impressive form of the FTSE 250, apparently shrugging off any fears associated with the referendum," said Joshua Mahony of IG.

"It is. Whilst this rally doesn't prove that the referendum fears are baseless, it is clear that the markets consider them to be sufficiently far away to neglect for now."

If the FTSE 250 manages to pass its 23 June level it will be a key milestone in the aftermath of the referendum. The FTSE 100 is already in a technical bull run, 21 per cent higher than its mid-February nadir of around 5,500 off the back of a robust post-vote buying spree.

With a smattering of economic data, some big corporate results on both sides of the pond and rate-setting meetings at the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan, traders are preparing for a bumpy week.

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