Prudential reported its first-half profits quadrupled which today in turn picked the FTSE 100 back up from yesterday's nine-month low.
The FTSE 100 index eventually closed the day back over the 4,300 market at up 37.9% or 0.8% to 4324.9 while the FTSE All-Share index gained 11.6 points or 0.7% to 2152 and the FTSE 250 index added 20.5 points or 0.3% to 5948.
Prudential reported net income leapt £314m from £76m in H1 2004 thanks to an increase in the sale of annuities and corporate pensions. This boosted Pru’s share price to close up 6p or 1.39% to 439p.
As a result, insurance rivals Aviva and Royal & SunAlliance also rose 2.1% to 535.5p and 1.7% to 76.25p respectively.
Banking stocks were lifted by the prospect of a takeover at Abbey – as reported yesterday – by Banco Santander as analysts hope this will spur further banking takeovers in the UK.
Barclays ended the day up 7.5p or 1.69% to 450.5p while Lloyds TSB Group gained 7.5p or 1.89% to 404.5p.
Glaxo also added 17p or 1.59% to £10.88 thanks to its latest £1.39bn profit.
In the US, markets are performing well on the prospect of improved consumer confidence.
The Dow Jones is currently up 84 points or 0.84% to 10,045 while the S&P 500 index is up 6.3 points or -.58% to 1,090 and the Nasdaq Composite index has gained almost 17 points or 0.92% to 1,856.IFAonline
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