There was talk in the market of a takeover at Prudential by HBOS, however, the banking group quickly quashed any such suggestions to leave the FTSE 100 almost flat at close of business.
The FTSE 100 index dropped just 2 points to 4,615.4 by the end of Friday, but Liberty International had the best gains and to add16.5p or 1.96% to 859p.
Talk surfaced earlier today which indicated the life insurance group Prudential Assurance was the subject of a takeover by HBOS. Pru’s closest rival Aviva eventually closed up 9p or 1.7% to 537.5p while Pru earned an extra 5.75p or 1.49% to 392p from the rumour.
Similarly Easyjet is rumoured to be a target for an Icelandic airline, so has seen its share price jump. Easyjet closed up 21p or 16% to 152p.
Amvescap closed down 11p or 3.77% to 280.5p after Merrill Lynch lowered their earnings forecast, while rival Man Group lost 21p or 1.62% to £12.79. Their rival Schroders only dropped a fraction to 636.5p.
Scottish & Newcastle, the Northern brewery, also closed down over 2% to 389.5p while GlaxoSmithKline, the drugs firm, lost 12p or 1% to £11.37.
In the US, all three main indices are currently down as Microsoft’s sales forecast is lower than expected.
The S&P 500 index has seen the smallest loss, dropping just 2 points or 0.18% to 1,104 while Nasdaq Composite (tech stocks) index has dropped the most, losing 15.8 points or 0.81% to 1,937 and the Dow Jones index is down 29 points or 0.30% to 9,836.
A further rise in the oil price is also expected to dampen profit potential further across the board.IFAonline
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