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THE TIPSTER

TARGET A UK STOCKS RALLY ON THE FTSE 250

YESTERDAY’S sell-off could be another opportunity for investors to add to long positions of more UK-centric stocks. Following a Budget that was beneficial for UK companies, expect to see further gains, particularly given the announcement of a gradual reduction in corporation tax to 24 per cent over four years. The FTSE 250 represents more UK-based companies as opposed to the FTSE 100, which is full of more global stocks, so the 250 index could be the way forward if you want to concentrate your exposure to domestic equities. Capital Spreads quotes a price of 9,880-9,910 for the FTSE 250 index.

The Swiss franc reached a record high against the euro after the Swiss National Bank’s vice president Thomas Jordan explicitly called for an end to forex intervention on Tuesday night. It fell to as low as SFr1.3586 during New York afternoon trading. Protection of a major option position at SFr1.3575 helped stop the slide but a break of that level could see it reach SFr1.35 before long. Spread Co offers a spread on euro-Swiss franc of SFr1.3608-SFr1.3611.

Following mediocre full-year results which showed a slim return to profits, Kesa Electricals has underlined the weak market conditions for consumer goods and retaliated with promises of more aggressive pricing. The rise in the share price that immediately followed the announcements may well reflect an overvaluation of the company and whether they will be able to take the VAT hike on the chin remains doubtful: the company’s P/E ratio looks likely to remain down on last year. Cantor Index offers a September Kesa Electricals spread of 117.10p–118.20p.

Tomorrow sees the full-year announcement from Keller Group, which is expected to be symptomatic of the struggle within the construction industry. A profit warning published last month hinted that profits would be hit not only by the economic downturn, but also by its own investment diversification. Cantor Index offers a daily spread on Keller Group of 553.07p–555.43p.