Top Stories
Top Stories

The real UK barometer that's showing bruising losses for equities

Steve Forbes: Politics of Brexit
Brexit a vote against overbearing bureaucracy: Larry Lindsey
Jack Lew on the Brexit's biggest headwinds

A lesser-quoted barometer for the U.K. economy is currently highlighting the bruising losses for investors following the surprise leave vote in the referendum on Friday.

The FTSE 250 Index consists of the 101st to the 350th largest companies listed on the London Stock Exchange in terms of capitalization.

It's seen in the investment community as a better barometer for the U.K. with many firms on the FTSE 100 being multinationals, such as large mining firms that operate in China.

The FTSE 250 was down 6 percent in early afternoon trade on Monday after losses of 7.2 percent on Friday. The global sell-off is widely regarded as the worst seen since the Lehman crash of 2008.

The mid-cap index hit its lowest since late 2014 on Monday afternoon with consumer cyclicals leading the losses. British banking company OneSavings Bank was the worst performer, down 27 percent. Housebuilders like Redrow and Bellway also suffered heavy losses amid uncertainty over the country's future relationship with the EU.

A trader from BGC, a global brokerage company in London's Canary Wharf financial centre reacts during trading June 24, 2016 after Britain voted to leave the European Union in the EU BREXIT referendum.
Russell Boyce | Reuters

"The collapse in equity prices in the U.K. and Europe on Friday was ugly and shares have dropped further today," Julian Jessop, the chief global economist at Capital Economics, said in a research note.

However, he added that equities had rallied strongly ahead of the U.K. referendum result which has accentuated the move.

"Friday's collapse in the FTSE 100 simply reversed that move, leaving equities little changed over the week. Even now, the FTSE 100 is still above its mid-June lows. Admittedly, the more domestically oriented FTSE 250 has fallen further, but it rebounded from similar levels in February."