Market Report: Asian assets lifts the Pru on good news day

The man from the Pru was looking sharp as several news items pushed the UK insurer to one of the strongest performers of the day. Prudential ended up 30p at 608p, as Germany's Allianz beat forecasts to post a 23 per cent jump in third-quarter operating profits. The results helped lift insurers across Europe as did a note from ING. The Dutch broker raised its valuation on 12 insurers across Europe, upping the Pru's price target from 392p to 584p.

Yet it was news from France that pushed the Pru up ahead of its UK-listed peers as news emerged that Axa had decided to buy out its Asian assets. The move prompted the market to speculate on the valuation of Prudential's own assets in emerging Asia. Turns out traders valued them pretty highly. Axa suffered slightly different fortunes as it also announced a €2bn capital raising, sending the stock down before crawling back, just, into positive territory.

The FTSE 100 enjoyed a storming start to the week, rising for the fourth session in a row as it followed strength in Japan with the Nikkei up 19 points to 9,808.99. The blue chips were led up by strength from the commodities, with the miners spearheading the index's rise, while the banks also weighed in. It closed up 92.46 points at 5,235.18.

The price of gold hit fresh highs again to a new record of $1,111, while metals including copper, tin and nickel also advanced yesterday. Of the giant miners, Kazakhmys, which has huge copper operations, was the top performer in the sector, rising 73p to 1286p.

Oil prices were up to almost $80 a barrel on the weaker dollar. Big oil also received backing from Cazenove, which said it "may finally be turning itself around" and picked BP and BG Group. "Although the sector has historically showed a tendency to underperform the market during the fourth quarter, we stay overweight on the space to play valuation recovery," the blue-blooded broker said in a note. BP closed up 11.3p at 1403p; BG gained 8.5p to 1090.9p

The banks also had some momentum after a meeting of finance ministers from the G20 nations hosted by the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, this weekend. Royal Bank of Scotland ended the top performer of the day, rising 2.3p to 39.3p as the central bankers and ministers said they were not prepared to pull economic stimulus quite yet.

The chatter rose around Inmarsat, which provides satellite communications services to everywhere, Poland aside. The group rose 26p to 621p on numbers that beat consensus expectations by what Jonathan Groocock of Investec called a "frankly astonishing" 9.3 per cent. The share price rise marked its sixth consecutive session gain, closing at a four-year high.

Cadbury soared in the morning as investors licked their lips in anticipation of a sweet bid from Kraft. As soon as the formal offer came out just after lunch, the excitement melted. As Kraft went hostile just hours before the "put up or shut up" deadline from the Takeover Panel, the terms were unchanged. Cadbury's shares slammed into reverse on the news as it rejected the offer. A note of optimism returned before the close as it crept up 3p to 761p.

One stock that did not make it back to positive territory was Cable & Wireless, the telecoms group that unveiled a demerger and a profit warning on Thursday. It fell again as Royal Bank of Scotland analysts cut their target price from 200p to 175p, while Morgan Stanley cut it 20p to 170p. The group closed 2.2p down at 136.8p.

Standout performer on the second line was the engineering group IMI, as it said it would comfortably beat full-year earning expectations. The group has a range of operations from making valves used in power plants, oil and gas production and the like, to "delivering still and carbonated beverage dispensing solutions" – as the jargon heavy website said – which seems to be taps in pubs as far we can make out. The shares soared more than 15 per cent, or 69.7p to 511p, its highest position for more than a year.

IP Group, which specialises in intellectual property, in the wider market was down as it agreed to buy a 19.8 per cent stake in Fusion, a rival based in Yorkshire. The group lost 2.25p to 53p, on the deal that gives it co-investment rights to Fusion's portfolio companies.

On London's growth market AIM, the natural resource companies aped their bigger brothers on the top tier, with Bezant Resources top of the tree at lunchtime. The group, which takes its name from a medieval gold, silver and copper coin, rose 2.25p to 25p. It was overtaken by Euro Nickel, which stormed 11.36 per cent up to 12.25p.

On the downside, Inspired Gaming's share restructuring plan failed to catch investors' imagination. The group fell 4p to 6p as it proposed a reorganisation that would put 90 per cent of the new issued shares in the hands of preference holders. The group, which is a takeover target, wants to simplify the capital structure, but analysts do not think the small shareholders will go for it.

Latchways, the safety products group, saw first half pre-tax profit fall 26 per cent on lower construction sales, and the management didn't have much more good news for the future, although added "specific local events such as the 2012 Olympics will help mitigate this". Confidence itwould emerge from the crunch well placed saw the shares remain flat at 650p.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
News
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
arts + entsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Compensation and Benefits Manager - Brentwood - Circa £60,000

£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...

Data Analyst/Planning and Performance – Surrey – Up to £35k

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

IT Systems Business Analyst - Watford - £28k + bonus + benefits

£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...

Markit EDM (CADIS) Developer

£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker