Kathleen Brooks
PRUDENTIAL shares have been trading in a range between 600p and 500p for the past six months. However, after languishing around the 500p mark, the stock has risen more than 15 per cent in the past three weeks to highs of 603.5p in anticipation of a positive first-half trading report today. Shares fell away slightly yesterday, but traders have been continuing to buy the stock in anticipation of further long-term gains. Spreadex has a December-based contract for Prudential with a spread of 568.9p-573.5p.

In the past 12 months shares in Aveva Group have risen from 800p to highs of 1,375p last week. The share price has fallen back to around the 1,340p level this week. But news of deals with the Bangkok Dock Company and Indian-based SKA Marine Services to share their resources, sparked a mini rally in the stock. has a rolling spread of 1,330p-1,336p.

Only a week after the bank announced a 29 per cent rise in profit, news of job cuts at Barclays Capital saw the share price drop 5 per cent yesterday. With a tougher regulatory environment and lower risk appetite, the investment banking arm of the business is likely to continue to suffer. Cantor Index offers a spread of 314.60p– 315.63p.

The Bank of England’s inflation report saw the Bank’s growth forecast for the UK economy fall to 3 per cent for 2011. Inflation will remain above the 2 per cent target for this year, the Bank said, before slowing sharply in the second half of 2011. This data weighed on sterling, as investors priced in the prospect of a prolonged period of low interest rates. IG Index’ current spot price for sterling-US dollar is $1.5655-$1.5658.

Numis, the investment bank and broker, upgraded Balfour Beatty, the construction firm, to a buy after impressive interim results released yesterday. Its services sector should continue to perform well. Spreadex offers a rolling spread of 258.3p-259.8p.