FTSE 250 movers: Weir Group and Serco pace gains amid bargain hunting
London's second-tier index finished in the red yet again as investors took stock of the Chinese coronavirus's continuing spread globally and after the US Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organisation called for measures to be put in place immediately to break its advance.
Despite those warnings and a handful of new infections across Europe, some bargain hunters appeared to step in on Wednesday, helping the likes of Fidelity China Special Situations, JP Morgan Emerging Markets IT, and Schroder Asia Pacific to reverse early losses, and relieving part of the immediate selling pressure on the oil patch.
By the close, the FTSE 250 was down 0.45% at 20,622.95 but well off its intraday low of 20,233.07.
Nonetheless, in the case of Weir Group, the reason behind the bounce in its share price was its decision to exit the oil and gas business.
After booking a £546.0m impairment on the value of the unit, Weir said it would offload its battling oil and gas business.
Analysts at Peel Hunt concurred with the company, saying: "We entirely agree with the proposed exit, but the debate is going to focus on how to realise value in a very difficult end market" - and so did markets.
Shares of Serco pushed nearer their five-year highs alongside, after the public services provider said that it would reinstate a dividend for the first time since 2014 as full year profits increased 25%.
FTSE 250 (MCX) 20,622.95 -0.45%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,389.50p 11.12%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 391.00p 5.96%
Vivo Energy (VVO) 107.80p 4.46%
Serco Group (SRP) 157.40p 4.45%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 772.00p 4.39%
G4S (GFS) 194.75p 3.87%
Hiscox Limited (DI) (HSX) 1,300.00p 2.93%
Vesuvius (VSVS) 411.20p 2.90%
Morgan Advanced Materials (MGAM) 303.60p 2.78%
Royal Mail (RMG) 170.90p 2.77%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Restaurant Group (RTN) 109.00p -7.23%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 186.60p -6.09%
Playtech (PTEC) 307.00p -5.77%
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 366.50p -5.66%
SSP Group (SSPG) 567.00p -5.03%
Watches of Switzerland Group (WOSG) 349.00p -4.90%
PPHE Hotel Group Ltd (PPH) 1,750.00p -4.89%
Helios Towers (HTWS) 129.60p -4.85%
Finablr (FIN) 69.75p -4.71%
Capital & Counties Properties (CAPC) 221.50p -4.69%