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Friday 19th of December 2008
November 18, 2008

Friends Provident leads UK insurers higher


by Elaine Frei
Friends Provident leads UK insurers higher

Most European equities markets saw gains Tuesday.

The FTSE 100 added 1.85 percent to 4,208.55 in London, but the FTSE 250 was 0.85 percent lower to 5,925.98.

Insurers were higher as Legal & General (LSE: LGEN) added 7.54 percent, Aviva (LSE: AV) was up 8.58 percent and Friends Provident (LSE: FP) gained 8.59 percent.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.73 percent to 843.56 as the IBEX added 0.38 percent to 8,530.8, the Dax was 0.49 percent higher to 4,579.47 and the CAC-40 gained 1.11 percent to 3,217.4.

Equities markets in the Asia-Pacific region were lower.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 fell 2.28 percent to 8,328.41 while the Topix index was down 1.77 percent to 835.44 and the Mothers market of small and mid-caps dropped 3.28 percent to 317.41.

Taiwan’s Taiex was 3.03 percent lower to 4,305.18 and the Straits Times Index fell 3.26 percent to 1,692.55 while in Australia the Sydney Ordinaries dropped 3.47 percent to 3,513.1 and the S&P/ASX200 was 3.55 percent lower to 3,523.2.

India’s Sensex was down 3.81 percent to 8,937.2 after the central bank there said that the nation’s economic growth could slow in the current fiscal year, which ends on 31 March.

In South Korea, the Kospi fell 3.91 percent to 1,036.16 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 4.54 percent to 12,915.89 and the Shanghai Composite dropped 6.31 percent to 1,902.43.

Wall Street was mixed just before 1 p.m. in New York as the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up slightly, adding 0.45 percent to 8,310.77 but the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.88 percent to 1,469.04 and the S&P 500 had dropped 0.22 percent to 848.87.

Crude oil prices were slightly lower while most metals gained and grains prices declined.

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