Hedge fund managers will be cheering tomorrow as the short-selling ban is lifted. It will mean insurance stocks such as Aviva, Brit, Highway, Legal & General, Tawa, RSA Insurance, Novae and Prudential could be shorted from Friday.

There is some consolation, though – regulators will still be watching and managers will have to disclose any net short position of 0.25% or more.

Shares in Advent Capital plunged 20.59% after news broke that losses from hurricanes Ike and Gustav had almost wiped out its nine-month profit. The Lloyd’s insurer produced net income of £26,000 for the first nine months of 2008, down from £7.8m for the same period in 2007.

Other AIM-listed insurers did not experience such a severe drop, with shares in Omega falling 1.59%.

It was a mixed week for LSE-listed insurers. Shares rose 12.15% at Hardy and 8.67% at Admiral, but fell 5.88% at Pru and 5.96% at Beazley.