UK stocks closed up at the end of a tough week, on the back of signs the economy may be reviving. ...
UK stocks closed up at the end of a tough week, on the back of signs the economy may be reviving.
BP, Shell and Lloyds TSB Group led the advances, but Prudential and CGNU also climbed after the FSA relaxed rules on how much money insurers need to meet liabilities.
The FTSE 100 Index gained 2.3% to 4643.6 points to close the week up 0.8% as new figurds suggest the UK economy grew in the first quarter because consumer and government spending rose, and construction increased at its fastest pace in 12 years.
CGNU advanced 39p, or 7.9%, to 530.5p and Prudential also jumped 44p or 7.9% to 604p after the Financial Services Authority said it relaxed rules on how much capital insurers must have to meet liabilities as a slump in stocks wipes billions of pounds off the value of their assets. The regulator's decision reduces the pressure on insurers to sell stocks and buy bonds to protect assets.
Friends Provident also rose 7.5% to 143p while Britannic Group added 30p, or 6.6%, to 482.5p and Old Mutual leapt 6.75p or 7.8% to 93p.
Mouchel, a company which helps maintain 800 schools and 14,300 miles of public roads in the UK rose 10.5p or 8.4% to 135.5p on its first day of trading, valuing the company at £81.5m.
US stocks have also risen this afternoon after a report showed stronger-than-expected consumer confidence in June.
General Motors and International Business Machines led the Dow Jones advance, but fresh news of corporate accounting misdemeanours at Xerox.
Xerox saw its share price plunge after admitting it inflated revenue, adding to already damaged investor concern.
The Dow rose 57.38 or 0.6%, to 9327.30 points while the S&P 500 gained 8.36 points or 0.8% to 999.00 points, as financial, computer and consumer shares accounted for two-thirds of the advance and Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 17.52 points or 1.2% to 1476.72.
For the week, the S&P 500 has gained 1 percent, even after WorldCom disclosed its inflated earnings and the Securities and Exchange Commission charged the company with fraud.
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