Markets: Sandy fails to blow away insurers
INSURANCE stocks shrugged off a second day of disruption caused by Hurricane Sandy to post gains yesterday after analysts at UBS unveiled a raft of upgrades across the sector.
The review came ahead of third-quarter results today from Edinburgh-based Standard Life, which closed up 3.4p at 285.6p, which will kick-off the latest reporting season for insurers.
Resolution was 6.5p higher at 213.7p. Aviva, which ended the day up 5.9p at 334.3p, and Prudential, which closed 13.5p higher at 848p, remain UBS’s favoured life insurance stocks.
General insurers also began to recover some ground from Monday’s heavy losses, with Admiral up 6p to 1,100p.
National Grid came under pressure as its United States arm dealt with the impact of the superstorm in a number of its regions, including New York and Rhode Island. Shares were off 5.5p at 702.5p.
But Glasgow-based temporary power supplier Aggreko climbed 28p to 2,129p after a positive analysts’ note from Seymour Pierce highlighted how it could benefit from Sandy.
The wider FTSE 100 index rose by just under 1 per cent, climbing 54.8 points to 5,849.9, after heavily-weighted stock BP led the blue-chips higher by raising its third-quarter dividend.
Mike McCudden, head of derivatives at Interactive Investor, said: “BP aside, the FTSE 100 is gaining a shot in the arm from a raft of decent corporate numbers in the eurozone.
“However, the catalyst that will propel the market higher from here remains in hiding.”
Imperial Tobacco joined BP in making gains after the JPS and Lambert & Butler cigarette maker increased its full-year dividend by 11 per cent and reported an 8 per cent rise in full-year profits.
The Bristol-based group offset a dip in global cigarette volumes with price hikes as it reported a 3 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £2.6 billion. Shares were 2 per cent or 38p higher at 2,370p.
Among the Scottish stocks, Perth-based transport group Stagecoach edged up 0.3p to 270.7p after a trading update revealed that like-for-like revenues rose by 7.9 per cent across its rail arm in the 24 weeks to 14 October, but its London bus business posted a 0.9 per cent fall in revenues.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North