Winners
Mitsui Marine up 1.5%

Jardine Lloyd Thomson up 1%

Losers
Royal & SunAlliance down 10.3%

Cox down 12%

Royal & SunAlliance was among the FTSE 100's biggest fallers l …

Winners
Mitsui Marine up 1.5%

Jardine Lloyd Thomson up 1%

Losers
Royal & SunAlliance down 10.3%

Cox down 12%

Royal & SunAlliance was among the FTSE 100's biggest fallers last week as investors worried about its asbestos liabilities.

The effect of ratings agency AM Best downgrading the company's financial strength helped push the stock down towards 360p.

The FTSE All-Share insurance sector index has also been having a bad time.

It has been in more or less steady decline over the past two weeks.

One glimmer of hope came this week with CGNU proving a rising star.

However, it was a case of good news in the life sector pushing the stock higher.

CGNU shares topped the risers' list after confident new life business figures offset a bearish assessment of short term prospects.

The company beat expectations by posting a 12% rise in full-year new life business sales to £2.5bn on an annual premium equivalent (APE) basis. This was about £200m ahead of consensus estimates.

Full-year worldwide long-term new life business sales were up 10% to £15bn.

By mid-morning on Tuesday when the results were announced, the shares were trading 3.65% up at 866p.

Deutsche Bank was full of praise and singled out the fourth quarter results.

Despite expectations of a slump at the end of the year, CGNU posted a 33% rise in life premiums to £364m for the UK in the last three months of 2001.

Shares in Cox plummeted on Tuesday, hit hard by the morning's announcement that the Lloyd's insurer was increasing its estimate of World Trade Centre losses to a possible £125m. By mid-morning the stock was down 12% to 120p.

Cox said in September it expected the terrorist attacks to cost it £30m.

It increased its estimate on 25 October to £67m.

Its latest statement said: "The current total loss notifications have increased to approximately £85m [net of reinsurance and including the balancing effect of reinstatements, pre-tax]."

Taking into account possible mitigating payments, the company now expected the pre-tax losses to "ultimately fall within a range of £75m - £125m".

The figures assume the company will receive full settlements from its reinsurers.

New business is also up at Zurich Financial Services. But Zurich's Advice Network, which consists of IFAs, achieved new business sales of £287m on an APE basis compared to £304m achieved in 2000.