Prudential pulls FTSE 100 higher

Image copyright AP

Insurance giant Prudential led the London stock market higher after it reported record operating profits.

Shares in the company rose 2.5% as strong growth in its Asian business helped its group operating profits to rise 7% to £4.3bn.

Profits at its Asian operations rose 28% to £1.5bn.

However, its UK operating profits fell by nearly a third, hit by a £175m charge following a review of sales practices at its annuity business.

The rise in Prudential helped the wider market to edge up, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index rising 3.35 points to 7,370.43 in morning trade.

On the currency markets, the pound fell to an eight-week low against the dollar, dropping 0.7% to $1.2136.

Analysts cited worries over the triggering of Article 50 and a second Scottish independence referendum for the falls. The dollar has also been gaining strength on expectations that the US Federal Reserve will raise interest rates on Wednesday.

Against the euro, the pound was down 0.6% at 1.1403 euros.


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