LONDON (ShareCast) – Infrastructure services group Balfour Beatty (Other OTC: BAFYY – news) was among the best performers on the FTSE 250 on Wednesday after RBC Capital Markets upgraded its rating by two notches from ‘underperform’ to ‘outperform’, saying that the stock is geared to the recovery in the UK.

“We believe that the outlook in its end markets is more positive,” said Analyst Olivia Peters. “Balfour Beatty sits at the early part of the infrastructure cycle through its Professional Services business, hence it should benefit from the improving construction outlook ahead of peers.”

Essar Energy (LSE: ESSR.L – news) was also a high riser today, rebounding after a 25% slump since the start of the year. The stock was up nearly 8% this afternoon after coming close to record lows earlier in the session.

Financial stocks were broadly higher, including Ashmore, Brewin Dolphin (LSE: BRW.L – news) and Hiscox. Even interdealer broker ICAP (LSE: IAP.L – news) was registering gains despite reporting a 6% drop in third-quarter revenue due to a challenging market.

Home emergency insurer HomeServe (Other OTC: HMSVF – news) was in demand after saying it expects full-year adjusted profits to be in line with market expectations.

Housebuilder Countrywide (LSE: CWD.L – news) edged higher after 6%-owned online property portal Zoopla was said to be exploring various strategic options. London-focused estate agent firm Foxtons was also performing well today.

A handful of stocks were trading lower after going ex-dividend, including Victrex (LSE: VCT.L – news) and Stagecoach.

FTSE 250 – Risers
Essar Energy (ESSR) 58.55p +7.73%
Ashmore Group (Other OTC: AJMPF – news) (ASHM) 335.00p +5.48%
Foxtons Group (FOXT) 371.20p +5.42%
Balfour Beatty (BBY) 299.00p +5.32%
Homeserve (HSV) 320.80p +4.50%
Centamin (DI (KSE: 003160.KS – news) ) (CEY) 46.88p +3.63%
Wetherspoon (J.D.) (JDW) 798.50p +3.57%
Hiscox Ltd (HSX) 646.50p +3.52%
Enterprise Inns (LSE: ETI.L – news) (ETI (Shenzhen: 002005.SZ – news) ) 165.20p +3.51%
Thomas Cook Group (TCG) 180.20p +3.27%

FTSE 250 – Fallers
Oxford Instruments (LSE: OXIG.L – news) (OXIG) 1,573.00p -3.44%
Victrex plc (VCT) 1,886.00p -3.13%
Cairn Energy (LSE: CNE.L – news) (CNE) 206.30p -2.64%
Riverstone Energy Limited (RSE) 895.00p -2.19%
Renishaw (Frankfurt: REW.F – news) (RSW) 1,837.00p -2.18%
Rank Group (RNK) 137.50p -2.14%
Rotork (Frankfurt: RO4.F – news) (ROR) 2,406.00p -1.92%
Keller Group (LSE: KLR.L – news) (KLR) 1,175.00p -1.92%
UDG Healthcare Public Limited Company (UDG) 339.10p -1.71%
Fidelity China Special Situations (FCSS) 100.80p -1.66%