Buoyant results from Schroders lifted the asset management sector as a busy session for company results yielded a modest rise in the Footsie.
Shares in Schroders climbed more than 5 per cent to 2,727p after it boasted a substantial increase in wealth management activity, due in no small part to the absorption of Cazenove Capital Management.
Chris Beauchamp, market analyst at IG, said: “A rising tide lifts all boats, but asset management firms will be particular beneficiaries of the seemingly relentless rise in equity markets – Russian interventions notwithstanding.”
Aberdeen Asset Management was 2 per cent higher at 390.1p, while the wider FTSE 100 Index added 13.07 points at 6,788.49. The biggest riser in the top flight was Aviva as it leapt back into the black with a better-than-expected profits haul of £2.2 billion. Its shares gained more than 8 per cent, up 37.9p at 504p.
Other big risers included temporary power firm Aggreko after it said it would return £200 million to shareholders. The pay-out helped offset the disappointment felt by shareholders over the departure of chief executive Rupert Soames to Serco. Shares were 3 per cent higher, up 55p to 1,628p.
Engineering group IMI was the biggest FTSE 100 faller after a 21 per cent rise in operating profits for last year failed to meet City expectations. Shares fell 67p to 1,481p as the group added that it expects modest revenues growth in the first half of this year with margins slightly lower than the same period a year earlier.
Outside the top flight, construction firm Balfour Beatty was 7 per cent lower, down 23.8p at 297.6p, as it blamed operational issues in UK construction and a downturn in the Australian mining sector for a disappointing performance.