Business

Prudential helps FTSE close higher for fifth day in a row

Trader in London Image copyright AFP

(Close): London's leading share index closed higher, nearly reaching a 14 month high and marking its fifth straight day of gains.

The FTSE 100 was 15.12 points up to at 6866.42 as stronger financial stocks offset weaker energy shares which tracked a slight fall in oil prices.

Prudential shares rose 2.2% helping lift rivals such as Legal & General and Admiral.

But shares in BP and Royal Dutch Shell slipped on weaker oil prices.

The continuing global oil supply glut as well as pessimism that talk of a potential oil producer meeting to discuss propping up prices was unlikely to have any impact also weighed on oil prices

Prudential reported operating profits rose by a larger-than-expected 9% to £2.06bn boosted by rapid growth in Asia. It added it was well placed to deliver both growth and cash.

In the FTSE 250, shares in security firm G4S jumped 16.16% after it reported a near-10% increase in half-year pre-tax profits to £203m.

Revenues rose 3.2% to £3.5bn, and the company said it had won £1.4bn of new contracts. Investors were also relieved that G4S maintained its dividend, as there had been speculation it would be cut.

Shares in the company behind the Peppa Pig children's TV character, Entertainment One, rose 10.34% to 240.00p after it said it had rejected a 236p-a-share takeover offer from ITV.

On the currency markets, the pound rose 0.3% against the dollar to $1.3007 and was 0.50% higher against the euro at €1.1638.