The latest ups and downs on the stock market

If you’ve got a bit of cash to invest, plough it into Novae. That was the message from Execution Noble this week, as it forecast a potential 25% upside in the Lloyd’s insurer over the next 12 to 18 months. The money men seemed to be heeding the message, and the stock climbed from 309p to 320p. Execution Noble analyst Rakshit Ranjan said: “Following its recently announced strategic initiatives intended to improve the group’s ROE [return on equity], we expect Novae to emerge as a stronger recovery player in the sector over the next 12-18 months.

“The group has had no material exposure to the Chilean earthquake, and is on track to deliver ROE enhancement related to reduced reinsurance spend, shift in the underwriting portfolio’s business mix and cost savings from the closure of NICL [Novae Insurance Company Ltd].”

Talking of rising stars, Euler Hermes has been on the up in 2010, rising 27% since early December 2009 and outperforming the insurance sector by 12%. But analysts at Société Générale say it’s time to take a breather, downgrading the shares from buy to hold. The Allianz-owned trade credit specialist has benefited from improving economic conditions and better combined operating ratios.

Prices

Market indices Movers price 7-day Currency

FTSE 100 5755.59 Novae 320 +3.5% Dollar 1.54

FTSE 250 10452.85 Omega 107 -10.4% Euro 1.14

FTSE All-share 2954.79 JLT 555 – Yen 143.1