The latest ups and downs on the stock market

Shares in global broking powerhouse Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT) jumped on Wednesday last week to 585.5p from 555p amid rumours that its rival, Chicago-based Aon, was looking to snap it up. The stock was also given a shot in the arm on Wednesday by an upgrade to ‘buy’ by Numis Securities, and on Thursday by an upgrade to ‘outperform’ by Keefe, Bruyette & Woods analyst William Hawkins.

Veteran observers are unlikely to be surprised at Aon going hunting again, although JLT has been the subject of several takeover rumours in recent years. In 2007, conflicting rumours said that a bidder might pay up to £6 a share for JLT, and that JLT itself was set to try to take over its rival Heath Lambert. The following year, JLT shares hardened on rumours of a bid approach.

It is unclear if the rumours are true this time round, but, upgrades notwithstanding, JLT’s share price started to decline again towards the end of last week.


Market indices AIM movers Price 7-day Currency

FTSE 100 5252.1 Catlin 330.60 -3.33% Dollar 1.442

FTSE 250 9920.21 Amlin 379.80 -0.05% Euro 1.169

FTSE All-share 2715.03 Chaucer 45.00 -3.89% Yen 133.066