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Sector movers: Financials pace gains

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Wednesday 08 Aug 2018

Sector movers: Financials pace gains

(Sharecast News) - Financials lent their weight to Wednesday's stockmarket advance, with Prudential at the head of the pack on the back of its latest half-year numbers.
Boosted by good underlying growth in Asia and the US, the life insurer said that group operating profits rose 2% to £2.4bn on an IFRS accounting basis, or up 9% if forex moves are excluded. That was 7% ahead of the average analyst forecast of £2.25bn, thanks to a £166m benefit from the one-off release of a UK provision.

Shares of lenders were also on the up, tracking gains on the other side of the Atlantic, where the KBW sector index was adding 0.52% to 111.22.

Of the lenders listed on the FTSE 350, Lloyds's shares were the only ones moving lower.

Nevertheless, while the S&P 500 was just a smidgen shy of its 52-week highs, the KBW's 52-week highs were still some way off, at 117.14.

Of interest, analysts at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch were pointing out how, post the June rebalancing of FTSE Russell's US indices, value managers were now most overweight Financials, at 1.24 times' the benchmark, followed by technology at 1.23.

In the background, and in a boon for the sector's fortunes, was the recent more upbeat tone from some market watchers on their outlook for equity markets.

Indeed, just last Saturday, JP Morgan boss, Jamie Dimon, had forecast that the current 'bull market' would continue for another two or three years, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury set to rise to 5.0%.

Nevertheless, Automobiles&Parts was the top riser, driven by gains in fluid storage company TI Fluid Systems after it reported revenue growth of 4.5% period-over-period at constant currency for the first six months of the year.

The company attributed its first-half performance to the successful execution of its hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) and electric vehicle (EV) strategy, which had created further organic growth opportunities.

Top performing sectors so far today

Automobiles & Parts 10,837.93 +7.20%

Life Insurance 8,557.65 +2.26%

Industrial Transportation 3,174.53 +1.84%

Support Services 8,415.85 +1.15%

Banks 4,325.98 +1.00%

Bottom performing sectors so far today

Health Care Equipment & Services 7,746.40 -1.16%

Industrial Engineering 13,193.64 -1.15%

Leisure Goods 7,731.94 -0.64%

Mining 17,940.33 -0.38%

Electronic & Electrical Equipment 6,935.43 -0.15%


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