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FTSE 250 hits a record high as Britain’s Covid recovery strengthens

FTSE 250 hits a record high as Britain’s Covid recovery strengthens: Mid-cap index is up 86% since March last year


The FTSE 250 has hit a fresh record high amid a brightening coronavirus picture in the UK.

The mid-cap index, home to more domestically-focused companies such as Marks & Spencer and Wetherspoons, rose 145.52 points yesterday to 23,866.01.

The benchmark has now risen 86 per cent since a low of 13,078.21 in March last year, when fears over the Covid-19 pandemic led markets to fall sharply.

Recovery: The FTSE250 mid-cap index, home to more domestically-focused companies such as Marks & Spencer and Wetherspoons, rose 145.52 points yesterday to 23,866.01

The index has made gains of over 16 per cent this year as the recovery gathered pace and a flurry of takeover bids boosted stocks.

Sentiment among traders has improved this week as coronavirus cases in China retreat.

The full US approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab has also helped to soothe some concerns in the City and on Wall Street.

But the FTSE 100 of blue-chip stocks has fared less well. 

It gained 16.76 points to 7125.78 yesterday but remains almost 10 per cent below its record high reached in 2018.

Oil was also on the march, rising back above $70 a barrel having dipped to $65 last week.

Brent crude fell below $20 early last year as lockdowns around the world hit demand. But it has recovered steadily since, boosting stocks including BP and Shell.

But investors will nervously be looking at Covid cases around the world amid fears the Delta variant could spiral out of control.

The meeting of central bankers at Jackson Hole in the US this week could spook the markets as the Federal Reserve in particular mulls when to start withdrawing emergency support from the economy.

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