The week's winners
Zurich up 7.1%
Wellington up 6.7%

The week's losers
Cox down 1.2%
BRIT down 0.6%

AXA has been creeping up the charts in the last week or so, after its first half results were announced earlier this month.

The share price has steadily gained about a euro and a half to clear E16 on Tuesday, up from just over E14 ten days ago - enough to regain ground it lost before its interims came out, and then a bit more.

At first sight AXA's figures, particularly those from the UK operations, were distinctly uninspiring with a £60m first half loss from property and casualty business and a combined ratio still struggling to show a profit at 104.7%.

Overall, the group suffered a tumble in net income to E141m from E224m (or E257m, restated).

But investors clearly aren't put off. And the figures were enough for Morgan Stanley to increase its year-end valuation to E16 a share from E14.8.

Its analysts are now forecasting adjusted earnings of E856m at the end of this year down from last year's E1357m, before a bounce back in 2004.

Morgan Stanley pointed out that the group's overall combined ratio of 101.8% was helped along by 2.4% of favourable old year reserve developments - mainly from Germany and Belgium - but concluded that its accident year loss ratio appeared to be improving, boding well for the future.

Elsewhere, Legal & General was wheeling and dealing in Wellington stock.

It bought just over 223,000 shares on 11 August, when they were trading on the open market at about 90p a share, taking its total holding to a shade over 3%. But it evidently had a change of heart and sold 413,000 three days later, when they closed at 95.5p.