Strong earnings, Aviva pull FTSE 100 higher

FILE PHOTO: A man shelters under an umbrella as he walks past the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain, August 24, 2015. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/File Photo

(Reuters) – London’s FTSE 100 index edged higher on Tuesday, helped by positive earnings updates from Intermediate Capital Group and British American Tobacco, while Aviva gained after an activist investor built a stake.

The blue-chip index rose 0.1%. Intermediate Capital Group added 5.1%, after the alternative asset manager posted a 19% jump in its annual third-party assets under management (AUM) as COVID-19 vaccinations and government support measures boosted investor sentiment.

British American Tobacco rose 2%, after it raised its annual revenue growth forecast to more than 5% at constant currency as the cigarette maker’s focus on newer products like e-cigarettes and tobacco-heating devices pays off.

However, gains were limited on the FTSE 100 by a fall in heavyweight oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell on the back of lower crude prices. [O/R]

The domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index advanced 0.2%.

Aviva gained 2.6% after activist investor Cevian Capital took a 4.95% stake in the British insurer and said the company should be able to return 5 billion pounds ($7.08 billion) of excess capital in 2022.

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