The FTSE 250 was in the green by mid-afternoon on Thursday, clawing back some gains from the week-to-date of losses, up 66.43 points (0.42%) to 16,058.85.
Oil companies and miners were the biggest stars, as commodity prices continued to rise. At 1516 GMT, West Texas Intermediate crude had risen 2.1% to $32.98 per barrel and Brent increased 1.2% to $35.47 per barrel, sending Tullow Oil to the top of the risers list.
Sentiment in Asia also helped commodity-based companies rise. Weaker-than-anticipated service sector data out of the United States put pressure on the greenback, which led to gains for commodities overnight extending into the Asian trading day. There was speculation in the People's Republic that "the Fed may only increase interest rates twice this year, largely down from previous market expectations", said Guodu Secutiries analyst Xiao Shijun, leading to the lift in Chinese stocks.
Investec also had a good day after ratings agency Moody's upgraded the bank's long-term ratings by one notch. The bank's long-term deposit rating was upgraded to A2 from A3 with a stable rating outlook, its senior unsecured rating to (P)A2 from (P)A3, its subordinated debt rating was upgraded to Baa3 from Ba1, its standalone baseline credit assessment (BCA) to baa2 from baa3, and its counterparty risk assessment to A2(cr) from A3(cr).
In a statement, Moody's said the rating action reflects "continued improvement in the credit fundamentals" of Investec. "The business now benefits from a substantial reduction in the bank's legacy business in the UK, in particular its commercial property lending risk." In total the bank's net portfolio of assets in run-off was £645m at 30 September 2015, reduced from a net £2.2bn in March 2014. The bank has also become less complex, a result of the sale of its banking businesses in Australia, intermediated mortgage businesses in the UK and Ireland as well as certain other mortgage assets, Moody's noted.
dropped after the company saw a big drop in currency trading volumes in January on its EBS system compared to the same month last year.
They handled an average of $103.8bn a day in January, which was a 39% rise compared to December, but a 20% drop from the previous year. almost 40 per cent above December's levels, but down by one-fifth from the same month last year. That news also sent shares in Tullett Prebon down, as the pair work to complete a deal for Tullett to buy ICAP's global hybrid voice broking and information business. Tullett Prebon agreed to buy the business from its rival inter-dealer broker in November in an all-shares deal. After offloading its telephone-based 'voice broking' arm, ICAP will be left with its electronic broking and post trade businesses.
FTSE 250 - Risers
Tullow Oil (TLW) 179.30p 11.23%
Amec Foster Wheeler (AMFW) 412.90p 8.23%
Ophir Energy (OPHR) 89.65p 6.85%
Evraz (EVR) 60.75p 6.49%
BGEO Group (BGEO) 1,804.00p 5.99%
Investec (INVP) 438.80p 5.56%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 223.10p 5.53%
Weir Group (WEIR) 829.00p 5.27%
Vectura Group (VEC) 177.90p 5.27%
Acacia Mining (ACA) 220.40p 4.95%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Entertainment One Limited (ETO) 137.40p -3.92%
Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) 10,000.00p -3.47%
ICAP (IAP) 455.80p -3.33%
Rightmove (RMV) 3,818.00p -3.07%
Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group (JLT) 805.50p -2.95%
Sophos Group (SOPH) 228.00p -2.85%
Barr (A.G.) (BAG) 522.00p -2.70%
Senior (SNR) 198.30p -2.65%
Tullett Prebon (TLPR) 322.00p -2.60%
CLS Holdings (CLI) 1,533.00p -2.42%