London’s benchmarks were mixed on Thursday after ex-dividend stocks took down the FTSE 100 and the FTSE 250 broke ranks with its large cap sibling to notch up a solid gain for the session.
The FTSE 100 closed down 0.39% at 7,303 while the FTSE 250 gained 0.30% before coming to rest at 19,126.
Ex-dividend driven carnage was the primary driver behind losses on the FTSE 100 for the session while a still reasonable economic outlook helped underpin other domestic stocks.
Some of the largest losses were seen at Pearson, Lloyds, Aviva, Paddy Power and Shire, each of which racked up losses of 2% or more. Pearson, the struggling educational publisher, was down nearly 7% by the close.
The impact on the index from some of these losses was partially offset by gains at companies such as easyJet, British Land, Barratt Developments and Land Securities.
On the FTSE 250 key drivers behind the index’s gains were Homeserve, Countryside Properties and CLS Holdings, up 11.6%, 6.5% and 3.8% respectively.
Of note, Homeserve upgraded its expectations for full year earnings following strong trading in the US and UK. This is while both CLS and Countryside benefited from a series of broker upgrades, which helped to propel the shares higher.