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Aviva fails to stop index rallying.

Byline: FTSE 100 Annabel Breakey Brewin Dolphin

A HEFTY share fall for blue-chip insurer Aviva failed to hold back the rally on London's FTSE 100 Index yesterday as cheery US jobs data boosted sentiment.

The life and pensions firm nosedived 13%, wiping around PS1.5bn off its market value, after new chief executive Mark Wilson announced a 44% cut in its full-year dividend to 9p a share.

But figures showing a fall in claims for unemployment benefits in America helped the wider FTSE 100 maintain its recent ascent to close 11.5 points higher at 6439.2.

The jobs figures ensured another positive session on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average made further advances, up nearly 50 points in early trading after closing at a new record high last night.

It was a good day's trading for Aggreko yesterday as the FTSE 100 Index was back on course, rising 11.5 points to close at 6439.2. The Index has risen more than 550 points since the start of the year, with over PS135bn added to the value of Britain's biggest firms.

And Aggreko, world leader in the supply of temporary power, temperature control and oil-free compressed air systems, reported a rise in full-year pretax profit, saying expectations for the year as a whole remain unchanged from previous guidance.

Meanwhile, the pound recovered having earlier slipped below US$1.50 amid fears the Bank of England would push the button on more quantitative easing. But it decided to leave it on hold for another month.

It was a quiet day in the North Index, with Glaxo announcing the submission of a marketing authorisation application for the diabetes drug Albiglutide to the European Medicines Agency. The drug is not yet approved anywhere else in the world. On the back of this announcement the shares closed up 11p to finish the day at 1484p.

annabel.breakey@brewin.co.uk
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 8, 2013
Words:319
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