Financial stocks were the driving force behind a rally for the FTSE 100 Index today after gains for the likes of HSBC, Standard Life and Prudential.
Some of the uncertainty hanging over markets has cleared in recent days, allowing the Dow Jones Industrial Average to retest the 13,000 barrier and London’s top flight to add 30.2 points to 5922.9, a rise of 0.5%.
Insurers Standard Life and Prudential were on the front foot after their full-year results got a positive response from investors.
Edinburgh-based Standard bettered expectations with a 28% rise in profits to £544 million, despite a 6% drop in the UK, as its shares lifted 4.25p to 241.85p.
Prudential was not far behind, with shares up 11.5p to 739.5p, after its Asian business drove a 33% rise in pre-tax profits to £1.94 billion.
Among other financial stocks, HSBC rose 8.85p to 564.95p and Lloyds Banking Group was up 0.4p to 34.1p.
The biggest faller was Chilean miner Antofagasta amid disappointment at the size of its dividend payment in full-year results. Shares were 31p lower at 1239p.
There was also a fall of 2% or 6.7p to 282.8p for security firm G4S, offsetting recent gains, after full-year profits fell 17% to £279 million.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 22 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 24 mph
Wind direction: North