It was news from Legal & General Group which drove FTSE 100 trading today, but AstraZeneca was not f...
It was news from Legal & General Group which drove FTSE 100 trading today, but AstraZeneca was not far behind in terms of the share price leap it enjoyed to over £25.00 a share.
The FTSE 100 closed up 63.10 points or 1.5% to 4149.6 thanks to strong profits news from L&G and Astra, both of which indicate the market might finally be turning.
Legal & General climbed 4.5p or 5.1% to 92.75p because its first-half operating profit is up 1% from £362m to £365m and AstraZeneca jumped 58p or 2.4% by close of business to £25.08 - even though profits were down on last year - as net income reached $666m compared with the $614m expected by analysts.
On the back of news at L&G, Prudential - now the UK's largest insurer - also rose 17p or 4.2% to 426p and Aviva - owner of Norwich Union - was lifted 21.5p or 4.6% to 497p.
Investment firm Isis Asset Management also had a reasonable day and gained 9.5p or 4.9% to 204p after announcing it had won a contract to manage £125m of fixed income money for a Welsh pension fund.
Capita Group - which handles the finance collection of London's congestion charge as well as other government money-collection projects -also saw its share price rise 19p or 8.8% to 235p. First-half profit increased to £22.2m, after a huge cut in spending and winning several government contracts.
And Vodafone Group has seen some positive moves again - even though today is the day mobile phone companies were required to cut the cost of mobile calls between networks - because analysts now think a fall in the share price now makes them undervalued. As a result, Vodafone today rose 4.4% to 117.5p.
In the US, lower than expected unemployment figures as well as some positive news from AT&T has so far helped to lift the Dow Jones index.
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index is edging closer to crossing its psychological barrier and is currently up seven points or 0.7% to 995.68, pushed mainly by pharmaceutical stocks. The Dow Jones has gained 52.66 points or 0.6% to 9246.90, thanks to AT&T, while the Nasdaq is up 14.25 points or 0.8% to 1733.43.
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