The FTSE 100 index closed down 29.30 points at 4,495 today after insurance companies and banks suffered losses.
Prudential fell 26.25p to 484p after reporting results that undershot expectations. The company cut its dividend for the second time in six months as it sought to shore up its financial position.
Friends provident followed close behind with a 5.75p fall to 146.5p.
Legal & General fell 3.5p to 100.75p, and Aviva shed 15p to 540.5p.
Amvescap dropped 15p to 420p after the US Securities and Exchange Commission and New York State attorney general Eliot Spitzer announced a formal investigation into market timing by one of the UK firm’s competitors. Amvescap through its US business too has been named as one of a raft of companies suspected of allowing possible illegal trading in US mutual funds.
Utilities firms have gained on yesterday’s news that South Staffordshire is to demerge its water business.
United Utilities gained 5.5p to 313.25p, while Severn Trent added 9p to 739.5p.
HBOS is up 8.5p to 764p ahead of results due tomorrow, and expectations strong mortgage lending will show up as improved profits.
The FTSE 250 index fell 46.1 points to 6,253.2.
Cookson, a maker of moulds for steel makers, fell 4.5p to 45p after reporting a fall in second-half profit after one-off costs associated with asset disposals.
St James’ Place reported a strong increase in profits in 2003, sending shares up 9p to 182p.
Securicor gained 7.75p to 125.75p as the merger with Danish competitor Falk today got the go-ahead.
Shares in the US are trading down this afternoon after a consumer confidence index showed a fall last month.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average index is down about 30 points to 10,578, while the broader S&P 500 index is off by about 1 point to 1,140.IFAonline
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