Financial Planning

FTSE 100 continues to rise; Admiral Group plummets

Financial Planning
Published: 16 August 2017

The FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) opened higher for the third day in a row supported by the miners despite a slump in Admiral Group shares after disappointing half-year results.

The blue chip share index rose by 0.66%, 48 points to 7,432.59 by 11.03 GMT.

Shares in insurer Admiral (LON:ADM) plummeted 5.1% as the company reported a slight increase in profit although its interim payout fell below last year’s due to a lack of return of surplus capital. Pretax profit for the six months to June 30 was £193mn, a 2% increase on the same period last year of £190mn. Admiral said the rising costs of personal injury claims had dented profits. CEO David Stevens said: “Most of the adverse impact from the increase in the costs of large injury claims, resulting from the change in the Ogden discount rate, was captured in our 2016 second half result”.

The miners benefited from stronger copper prices as Anglo American (LON:AAL) gained 1.5%, Antofagasta (LON:ANTO) 2.4%, BHP Billiton (LON:BLT) 1.5%, Glencore (LON:GLEN) 2.9% and Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) 2%.

Finance software provider Sage (LON:SGE) was among the winners as shares rose 2.7% on an upgrade from Sell to Neutral from UBS.

In the FTSE 250 (INDEXFTSE:MCX), shares in construction group Balfour Beatty (LON:BBY) jumped 8.2% as the company reported a return to profit and an increase by one-third of its dividend.

Shares in silver miner Hochschild Mining (LON:HOC) sank 14.1% as it announced a higher half-year revenue but a lower profit due to higher production costs.

In the currency markets, sterling has regained some ground against the dollar at 0.16% to $1.2890 and rose against the euro at 0.22% to €1.0988.