Citywire printed articles sponsored by:
View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/article/a714431
Insurers weigh on FTSE; M&S rises despite sales fall
by Chris Marshall on Nov 05, 2013 at 08:55
Financial companies dragged Britain’s FTSE 100 index lower on Tuesday morning, but Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) was among the biggest winners even after reporting a further decline in sales.
The blue chip index, which has managed gains on 16 out of the last 18 trading days, fell 0.1% to 6,754. While weighing up corporate financial updates, investors were awaiting a monetary policy decision from the European Central Bank later this week, before jobs data from the US.
Insurance companies fell in London amid mixed corporate updates. RSA Insurance (RSA.L) released a third quarter update early, telling investors of the toll taken by adverse weather which meant losses for 2013 would be ‘materially’ above assumptions. The shares dropped 5.4% to 122p. ‘We would view such weakness as a buying opportunity, highlighting the 30% premium to NAV and the c4.8% forward yield,’ commented Shore Capital analyst Eamonn Flanagan.
Legal & General (LGEN.L) was also one of the biggest losers, despite reporting a 20% increase in cash generation in the third quarter of the year alongside an upbeat summary of the outlook with ‘growing momentum in the business’. Shares fell 1.7% to 214p.
At the other end of the index, Marks & Spencer shares rose 2.7% to 500p even as clothing sales fell for a ninth quarter. The high street retailer reported a 9% fall in first half profits and provided a cautious outlook statement.
Though the results lacked ‘sparkle’, Investec’s Kate Calvert noted ‘valuation is not particularly demanding given this is the final year of elevated investment, the benefits of which should start to come through next year.’ She says the shares are a ‘hold’.
News sponsored by:
Today's top headlines
More about this:
Look up the shares
- Marks and Spencer Group PLC (MKS.L)
- RSA Insurance Group PLC (RSA.L)
- Legal & General Group PLC (LGEN.L)
- Rio Tinto PLC (RIO.L)
- Anglo American PLC (AAL.L)
- Bhp Billiton PLC (BLT.L)
- Glencore Xstrata PLC (GLEN.L)
- Aviva PLC (AV.L)
- Prudential PLC (PRU.L)
- Old Mutual PLC (OML.L)
On the road
on Dec 06, 2013 at 14:28