Another day in the roller-coaster that is the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) at the moment, and today the index spiked up 40 points in early trade to 6,628 — the FTSE 250 (INDEXFTSE: MCX (BSE: MCX.BO – news) ) jumped similarly by 41 points to 16,243 — led largely by speculation that the Chinese government might introduce stimulus measures to arrest the decline in growth that it has seen.
Indeed, the Eastern country’s economic concerns had been weighing on the likes of Glencore Xstrata (Other OTC: GLCNF – news) , Anglo American (LSE: AAL.L – news) and Fresnillo (Other OTC: FNLPF – news) ‘s share prices, but all three miners were among the top 5 winners in early trade this morning upon the Chinese stimulus hopes, each lifting over 2%.
Elsewhere, UK insurers took a battering on the news that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is planning an inquiry into historic sales of pensions, endowments, investment bonds and life insurance going back more than 40 years, over fears that long-standing clients are not being treated as fairly as new customers. As a buyer of old life insurers, Resolution (LSE: RSL) fell by more than 10%, while Aviva (Other OTC: AIVAF – news) and Legal & General (LSE: LGEN.L – news) both dropped by around 5% in morning trade.
The FCA’s director of supervision Clive Adamson commented:
“As firms cut prices and create new products, there is a danger that customers with older contracts are forgotten. We want to ensure they get a fair deal. As part of the review we will collect information to establish whether we need to intervene on exit charges.”
Sam (Paris: FR0011660836 – news) does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.