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FTSE lifted by Aberdeen boost for Standard Life

Standard Life was a big riser on the FTSE 100 as pace of investor withdrawals slowed at merger partner Aberdeen Asset Management.

 
FTSE lifted by Aberdeen boost for Standard Life
Standard Life (SL) helped push the FTSE 100 higher after strong results from Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN), the fund group with which it is set to merge.

Standard Life was an early leader on the FTSE 100, up 2.5% at 373p, buoyed by strong results from Aberdeen, which rose towards the top of the FTSE 250, up 4.3% at 291p, after the pace of outflows from its funds slowed. Standard Life and Aberdeen unveiled their plans for a merger in March.

While money continues to leak out of Aberdeen's funds, a £2.9 billion net outflow over the three months to the end of March marks a big improvement on the £10.5 billion that left the funds in the previous three months.

'These figures reflect improving sentiment towards emerging markets combined with our transition to becoming a full-service asset manager offering a broad range of capabilities via multiple distribution channels globally,' said Aberdeen chief executive Martin Gilbert.

'We have experienced net inflows into our emerging market strategies in recent months and encouragingly into our diversified growth strategies.'

Standard Life's rise helped the FTSE 100 add 44 points, or 0.6%, to 7,248.

The index was also supported by BP (BP), 2% higher at 451.5p after nearly tripling first quarter profits to $1.51 billion as a result of higher oil prices.

Shire (SHP) put in a strong performance, up 3% to £41.91 after the Irish drugs company reported a better than expected 14% rise in first quarter earnings and said integration of Baxalta, the US rival it bought last year, was ahead of schedule.

Precious metals miners Fresnillo (FRES) and Randgold Resources (RRS) were among the biggest fallers, down 2.9% at £14.10 and 2.3% lower at £66.45 respectively as gold and silver prices fell against a backdrop of rallying stock markets and as metal prices sagged after weaker-than-expected PMI data from China. Gold dropped $2 to $1,254.36 an ounce.

On the FTSE 250, Ocado (OCDO) was the biggest riser, jumping 5.6% to 265p after the Telegraph reported the group was in talks with Marks and Spencer (MKS), up 1% at 370.6p, over a food delivery service.

Just Eat (JE) choked after disappointing first quarter results but regained some composure to close just over 1%, or 6.5p, lower at 570p.

On currency markets the pound strengthened 0.3% to $1.2923 against the dollar after data showed UK manufacturing growth hit a three-year peak in April.

A monthly purchasing managers' index (PMI) survey for the manufacturing sector rose to 57.3 from 54.2 in March, beating economists' forecasts which had expected a dip to 54. In PMI surveys 50 separates contraction from expansion.

 

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