FTSE 250 movers: Genus boosted by China, Chemring wanted as Cyber Security play
London's second-tier index was trading slightly higher at the start of the week, with risk appetite buoyed by what little macroeconomic data was available given that Wall Street was closed in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
Investor sentiment was likely also being helped by reports that Britain was looking to begin easing its Covid-19 lockdown measures towards early March, once the most vulnerable segments of the population had been inoculated.
Against that backdrop, as of 1600 GMT the FTSE 250 was ahead by 0.08% at 20,632.11.
Genus was at the top of the leaderboard after guiding higher for profits for its full financial year, not least due to continued strong growth in sales in People's Republic of China.
Indeed, data published overnight in China showed gross domestic product for all of 2020 printed at 2.3% (consensus: 2.1%), a far better outcome than in most countries in the rest of the world.
The company derives a good share of its sales from the Asian giant.
As an aside, nevertheless, analysts at Pantheon Macroeconomics noted that the true figure was probably closer to 0.9%.
Close behind - and at roughly eight year highs - were shares of Chemring thanks to an upgrade out of Barclays.
The broker highlighted the firm as the purest-play Cyber Security outfit in its UK defence coverage and upgraded its recommendation on the stock to 'overweight'.
Barclays said the firm "is the most attractive way to play the Cyber Security growth theme in the UK" while highlighting its market-leading margins.
Energy services outfit Wood Group was also higher, boosted by a target price revision out of analysts at Berenberg from 290.0p to 400.0p.
FTSE 250 (MCX) 20,632.95 0.08%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Genus (GNS) 4,516.00p 4.73%
Tritax Big Box Reit (BBOX) 184.50p 4.71%
Dixons Carphone (DC.) 124.90p 4.61%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 1,679.00p 3.95%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 350.00p 3.46%
Apax Global Alpha Limited (APAX) 192.20p 3.44%
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 245.50p 3.15%
Chemring Group (CHG) 308.50p 2.83%
Serco Group (SRP) 126.10p 2.77%
PZ Cussons (PZC) 230.50p 2.44%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Babcock International Group (BAB) 206.80p -6.13%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 115.20p -4.60%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 409.70p -3.96%
Just Group (JUST) 76.90p -3.88%
Sirius Real Estate Ltd. (SRE) 85.20p -3.07%
easyJet (EZJ) 809.60p -2.69%
Provident Financial (PFG) 271.00p -2.45%
AO World (AO.) 379.50p -2.44%
4Imprint Group (FOUR) 2,295.00p -2.34%
Safestore Holdings (SAFE) 808.00p -2.30%