The latest ups and downs on the stock market

After a very quiet catastrophe season last year, insurers are already licking their wounds over losses in the Chilean earthquake and Windstorm Xynthia.

Investors aren’t exactly pulling the plug, but they seem to be rattled. Amlin, which estimates its earthquake losses alone at between $142m and $165m, saw its stock dive from 411p to 393p by the end of the week.

However, one bullish analyst, Rakshit Ranjan at Execution Noble, spotted a bargain. He said: “Amlin’s update on its exposure to Chile and Xynthia was encouraging, with retained losses from Chile expected to be less than those from the 2008 hurricanes.

“With no material exposure to Xynthia, and with one of the best reinsurance protection programmes in place on its portfolio and significant support from prior-year buffer reserves, we continue to expect market-leading returns from Amlin in 2010. Reiterate ‘buy’.”


Market indices Movers price 7-day Currency

FTSE 100 5706.82 Amlin 393 -4.2% Dollar 1.49

FTSE 250 10224.01 Brit 761 0% Euro 1.12

FTSE All-share 2924.03 Lancashire 483 4.6% Yen 137.88