FTSE edges higher despite declines in insurers’ shares - London Report

BRITAIN’S top share index ended slightly higher yesterday, with RSA leading insurers lower on weak premiums and drug­maker GlaxoSmithKline slipping after trading without the attraction of its latest dividend.

The FTSE 100 ended 0.18 per cent higher at 6,551.15 points, after rising to as much as 6,580.21 earlier.

RSA slipped five per cent to 460.10p, after saying premiums had fallen this year because of soft markets and its focus on areas offering higher returns. Insurer Admiral dropped 2.85 per cent to 1,259p.

GlaxoSmith­Kline fell 1.6 per cent to 1,413.50p, while rival AstraZeneca fell 0.6 per cent to 4,591.50p after announcing third-quarter results.

However, supermarkets were in de­mand after better-than-expected results from troubled Morrison, up 6.22 per cent to 172.50p.

Rival Sainsbury’s was 6.03 per cent better at 262.20p and Tesco climbed 3.27 per cent to 181.50p. Marks & Spencer continued to benefit from this week’s update, adding 5.92 per cent to 470.40p.