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FTSE 250 hits fresh high as solid London trading week continues

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The FTSE 250 rose to a fresh record high as London trading continued its recent solid spell.

The FTSE 100 also closed higher but in rather unspectacular fashion as a lack of economic data resulted in a broadly subdued trading day, with rises by the oil majors helping it into the green.

London’s top flight closed 27.54 points higher, or 0.39%, at 7,108 on Wednesday.

Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, said the London markets made “steady progress” in a largely unexciting session.

He added: “As in the US, a lack of big-name earnings data leaves the [FTSE 100] somewhat adrift, and once again outshone by the mid-cap 250 that has hit a new record high today.

“But overall indices remain in solid form, and have started June on the right foot after holding their ground in a less-than exciting May.”

Elsewhere in Europe, the other key indices lifted up with fairly modest gains.

The German Dax increased by 0.16% and the French Cac moved 0.42% higher.

In the US, the Dow Jones nudged lower on the opening bell despite a buoyant start to trading by cinema group AMC after it was lifted almost 20% higher by Reddit-driven enthusiasm.

Meanwhile, sterling was calm as a rise in mortgage approvals showed ahead of market expectations.

The pound increased by 0.12% versus the US dollar to 1.418 and increased by 0.04% against the euro to 1.160.

In company news, B&Q owner Kingfisher was one of the day’s weaker performers after it agreed a new deal to borrow £550 million to help it meets its climate targets.

The company, which also runs the Screwfix chain, will be able to borrow the funds with lower interest rates if it cuts its carbon production.

It saw shares dip by 7.6p to 353.8p at the end of play on Wednesday.

Burberry shares moved towards the top of the City leaderboard after shareholders in the fashion brand welcomed an upgrade by French brokerage Exane BNP Paribas.

Analysts at the firm tipped shares in Burberry to “outperform” their current valuation, saying that the company can reach its medium-term profitability target of a 20% margin.

Shares in the company moved 74p higher to 2,182p at the close of trading.

Elsewhere, publisher Bloomsbury made strong gains after it said it expects revenue and profit to be “comfortably ahead” of market expectations in the current financial year following a strong lockdown.

Shares in the Harry Potter publisher climbed by 35p to 344p.

The price of oil bounced higher as it continued its recent rebound, helping Shell and BP shares to positive territory.

Brent crude increased by 1% to 70.95 dollars per barrel.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Burberry, up 74p at 2,182p, Rolls-Royce, up 3.36p at 112.3p, Royal Dutch Shell B, up 33.4p at 1,340.2p, and British Land, up 12p at 524.8p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Kingfisher, down 7.6p at 353.8p, Melrose, down 3.25p at 173p, Johnson Matthey, down 56p at 3,072p, and Weir Group, down 32.5p at 1,955.5p.

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