Market Report: Admiral has wind in its sails - with the trend set to continue

Car insurer Admiral sailed up as the City predicted it will benefit from an easing in pricing pressure in the claims business yesterday. Numis forecast that the publication of the AA's price survey next month should confirm the trend.

Admiral has already travelled up 20 per cent since the start of December but Numis argued it has further to go. It said the current price "materially undervalues the company's quality and medium-term prospects" and Admiral perked up 45p to 1,460p after Numis' buy recommendation.

The wider market disappointed those hoping the benchmark index would smash eight month highs.

The financial sector and stocks going ex-dividend dragged the overall index down and the FTSE-100 stumbled 7.93 points to 6,826.33.

A solid trading update from software specialist Sage took it to the top of the blue chip table with a 13.8p rise to 426.9p.

Royal Bank of Scotland was out of favour after experts at UBS and Citi rated the bank a sell. UBS's John-Paul Crutchley said any progress that can be made by its new management is already in the share price.

But Liberum Capital's Cormac Leech argued that "RBS has the potential to be highly profitable and low risk by 2017" and raised his target price to 445p. It fell 11p to 348p.

Bookies William Hill took a hit due to concer over regulatory changes in the UK betting sector after a note from HSBC on the topic. It lost 13.8p to 341.6p.

Small-cap technology group Carclo warned that sales in its ink-jet technology division will be lower than expected in the second half of the year and it dropped 85p to 181p.

Pub group JD Wetherspoon celebrated Christmas sales growth with a 20p rise to 809p.

The AIM-listed Leni Gas & Oil said it has begun construction of the first drilling sites at its Goudron Field in Trinidad and gushed 0.055p to 1.04p.

US-focused oil and gas explorer Northcote Energy jetted 0.04p to 0.865p after an operations update.

W Resources revealed higher tungsten grades at its Spanish project and advanced 0.095p to 0.94p.

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