FTSE 100 And 250 Hit Record Highs As Pound Sinks On Brexit 'deadlock'

City chatter speculating that

Aldermore could be taken back into the hands of private equity just two-and-a-half years after floating lifted the challenger bank towards the top of the record high FTSE 250.

The consensus of analysts believe that Aldermore is a cheap bet for investors at its current valuation, making it ripe for a takeover.

However, Aldermore was only taken public in 2015 by private equity firm Anacap, which remains its top shareholder with a 25pc stake, and the mid-cap firm is more likely to be the subject of advances from another challenger bank looking to consolidate, according to one analyst.

The swirling rumours and a short squeeze – when a heavily shorted stock is pushed higher by short sellers closing their positions – lifted Aldermore 10.1p to 256p on thick trading volumes with the wider FTSE 250 hitting its highest ever close at 20,251.24. Meanwhile, the pound sinking on stalling Brexit talks helped the FTSE 100 also climb to a record peak, the blue-chip index closing 22.43 points at 7556.24.

Elsewhere, troubled outsourcer

Carillion nudged up 0.3p to 43.8p after taking the first step in its turnaround plan by confirming that it has received proposals over the disposal of its UK healthcare arm.

Carillion said in response to mounting speculation about the division that there is “more than one credible counterparty” interested with outsourcing rival Serco thought to be among the bidders circling the business.

Jefferies analyst Kean Marden argued, however, that Serco would have to present a compelling argument to shareholders to justify the acquisition given that it currently doesn’t pay a dividend and has its own financial problems.

Traditional bricks-and-mortar estate agents

Countrywide and

Foxtons are being left behind in the dust by its digital-savvy rival

Purplebricks, Berenberg analysts concluded to send the two property dinosaurs sliding.

Technology is driving productivity and pulling down costs across the sector but online agency Purplebricks is leagues ahead of its rivals allowing it to double the size of its UK business this year, analyst Ian Osburn told clients.

This strategy allows Purplebricks to charge an up-front fee at less than a third of that charged by a typical agent and its launch in the US could allow the AIM-listed firm to grow to ten times its current size.

London’s cooling property market is hurting high-end company Foxtons and Countrywide is saddled with high debt and a failing digital strategy, he added to pull the two firms down 2p to 64.5p and 1.5p to 114.5p, respectively. Meanwhile, the gushing analyst note helped Purplebricks gain 19.5p to 367.5p.

British Gas owner

Centrica pared early losses to nudge up 3.4p to 179p as the utility firm brushed aside the Government unveiling the draft legislation for its energy price cap.

Partypoker owner

GVC recording its best underlying growth since its acquisition of Bwin in the third quarter lifted the online gambling firm 38p to 905.5p.

Finally on the junior AIM market,

Independent Oil & Gas skyrocketed 9.6p to 25.6p, a 60pc surge, after a third party assessment decided that the driller’s Southern North Sea portfolio contains reserves of 303 billion cubic feet of gas, close to a 10-fold increase on an earlier estimate.

Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/10/12/fed-divide-inflation-helps-sterling-rebound-against-dollar-ballooning/

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