With Angelique Ruzicka
There was little evidence of gloom in the financial services sector this week. Pru’s shares dipped just 4.8%; Lloyds TSB 2.78% and Catlin Group a meagre 0.07%.
Amlin was the biggest winner in insurance with its shares rising 8.58% to 373.25p. Hiscox, Hardy Underwriting and Novae also had a good week with their shares rising 8.54%, 6.03% and 7.54% respectively.
Is this good news a temporary blip?. A report by trading house ODL Securities this week questioned whether the fall-out from AIG’s collapse had peaked. It pointed out that insurers such as Prudential, L&G, Aviva, Amlin, Standard Life, and Admiral had all bounced back from 52-week lows.
ODL said some investors believed that the worst was behind the financial services sector, with banking stocks leading the charge. But others felt it was little more than a bear rally. Insurance stocks still have a way to go. Aviva, for instance, is currently trading at about the 279p mark, a far cry from its 52-week high of 668.5p.