The FTSE 250 hit a record high yesterday, taking its gains since the lows it suffered in the immediate aftermath of last year’s Brexit vote to nearly 30 per cent.
The index rose 0.2 per cent, or 41.9 points, to reach an all-time high of 19,306.52 points.
The big winner was retailer JD Sports, which shot to the top of the index after reporting a 81 per cent rise in annual profits.
Shares leapt 8.2 per cent, or 33.5p, to a record 440.1p.
Construction firm Balfour Beatty was also among the day’s biggest success stories after securing a £16million contract from Network Rail to redevelop a train station in the centre of Glasgow.
Recovery: The FTSE 250 hit a record high yesterday, taking its gains since the lows it suffered in the immediate aftermath of last year’s Brexit vote to nearly 30 per cent
The firm’s share price was further propelled when analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch raised its target price to 345p from 295p. Shares jumped 5.8 per cent, or 15.8p to 286.4p.
But things were less rosy for Cairn Energy, which led losses after analysts at Barclays cut its target price by 25p to 270p.
Barclays cut the oil and gas explorer after revising down its Brent Crude Oil price outlook for 2019 onwards by $10 to $60 a barrel. Shares sank 3.3 per cent, or 7p, to 206.4p.
The FTSE 100 also enjoyed a strong day of trading, and is up 23 per cent since its post-Brexit vote low, despite finishing just shy of record highs reached last month.
The index inched up 0.2 per cent, or 16.6 points, to 7,365.5.
Arian Silver Corporation rocketed after it announced an agreement to buy three lithium exploration mines.
Airlines were among the biggest winners after Exane BNP Paribas’ upgrade of German airline Lufthansa to ‘outperform’ and strong March traffic at Heathrow airport boosted sentiment towards the sector.
Budget airline EasyJet was up 2.1 per cent, or 22p, to 1078p, while International Consolidated Airlines Group, which owns British Airways, was up 2 per cent, or 10.5p, to 539p.
Radio manufacturer Sepura had a howler after the Government launched an investigation into its takeover by Chinese firm Hytera on national security grounds.
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy said the implications of the merger on Sepura’s supply of digital mobile radio terminals throughout the UK may not be in the public interest.
Hytera’s £74million offer for Sepura, which is used by emergency services across the globe, was approved by shareholders in January. Shares fell 7.7 per cent, or 1p, to 12p.
Renold enjoyed a stellar session after reporting that it expects strong revenues for the year ended March 31, 2017.
The firm, which manufactures chains and gears for machinery, benefited from a weak sterling and improving European market conditions in the latter half of the period.
It expects an 11.1 per cent year-on-year jump in revenues, while operating profit for the second half of the year is expected to be ahead of the 4 per cent decline it saw in the first six months, which came on the back of ‘volatile trading conditions’.
The firm was lent a further helping hand by broker N+1 Singer, which reiterated its ‘buy’ rating.
Renold shares climbed 5.3 per cent, or 3p, to 59.25p.
Surveillance firm Synectics also soared after winning a multi-million dollar contract to provide a 5,000 camera-strong security system to a Philippines casino.
It adds to its existing surveillance contracts with gaming firms in Macau, Singapore, South Korea, and the Philippines.
Synectics also secured a mandate to extend its existing Jakarta Airport security system, while UK bus operator Stagecoach signed a renewed three-year contract for the firm to provide it with CCTV systems on all new vehicles.
Synectics shares rose 9.9 per cent, or 20p, to 222.5p.