(Sharecast News) – London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.7% at 7,321.61 in afternoon trade on Wednesday.
Utilities Severn Trent, National Grid and SSE were among the top performers. RBC Capital Markets said in a note that National Grid and SSE were its top picks in the sector.
“We see significant opportunity in NG and SSE as current valuations fail to differentiate between the UK network and water sectors. Higher and more visible growth, alongside a lower level of political focus are central to our positive view on networks,” RBC said.
Prudential also gained as Deutsche Bank cut its target price for the insurance giant ahead of its results next week, but said the stock is still an “attractive” investment at the current valuation.
“The shares have underperformed relative to main peer AIA Group and also UK Insurance peers in recent months,” it said.
“However, we continue to believe that Prudential can see exceptional sales growth this year and into next, with capacity for management to deploy for organic or inorganic growth if desired.”
JD Sports was under the cosh again after Foot Locker in the US cut its full-year forecasts.
FTSE 100 – Risers
Severn Trent (SVT) 2,360.00p 2.65%
National Grid (NG.) 967.60p 2.63%
Endeavour Mining (EDV) 1,638.00p 2.25%
Beazley (BEZ) 540.50p 2.17%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,044.50p 2.12%
SSE (SSE) 1,609.00p 2.06%
Aviva (AV.) 383.40p 1.94%
Prudential (PRU) 960.20p 1.91%
Unite Group (UTG) 925.00p 1.82%
Hiscox Limited (DI) (HSX) 986.00p 1.81%
FTSE 100 – Fallers
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 133.05p -5.47%
Frasers Group (FRAS) 781.00p -1.76%
Centrica (CNA) 144.30p -1.47%
B&M European Value Retail S.A. (DI) (BME) 563.60p -0.91%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 1,924.50p -0.65%
BP (BP.) 475.65p -0.47%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 161.05p -0.46%
Entain (ENT) 1,159.00p -0.34%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 289.70p -0.24%
RS Group (RS1) 726.80p -0.19%