Stock market rises on backing given to insurance sector

Insurers led a stock market rise after Morgan Stanley’s strategist Teun Draaisma raised his rating on the sector from neutral to overweight, the Guardian reports.

He spotlighted Legal & General, up 4.32p to 61.38p, saying concerns about its solvency had been overdone.

Overall Draaisma remained neutral on equities but added: "We believe our bull case is becoming more likely than our bear case."

Goldman Sachs positive too

Goldman Sachs also made positive noises, saying it anticipated a "sustained rally" in the US equity market in the second half of the year. There are some analysts and dealers who believe the market has run ahead too quickly, but they were in a minority yesterday. The FTSE 100 added 54.87 points to 4443.62, helped by an early rise of around 50 points on Wall Street.

Lloyds Banking Group closed up 4.51p at 72.01p in anticipation it could announce a first-half profit early next month, while Royal Bank of Scotland benefited from the general upbeat mood, rising 1.39p to 39.79p.