From car to travel to life, we round up the insurers who get the most plaudits.
Factory output optimism lifts FTSE
The FTSE 100 Index rose 36 points to close on Tuesday at 6313
London's FTSE 100 Index has made further progress after a strong session for blue chip miners amid renewed hopes that Britain will narrowly escape a triple dip recession.
A decent start to the US earnings season helped miners power ahead as investors in the commodity sector were encouraged by stronger-than-expected first quarter profits from aluminium maker Alcoa, despite a decline in revenues due to falling prices.
With the UK also forecasted to eke out growth of 0.1% in the first quarter after encouraging figures from retailers and manufacturers, the FTSE 100 closed 36.3 points higher at 6313.2.
The latest prediction from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research came after figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed a month-on-month improvement of 0.8% in factory output for February, reversing some of the 1.9% slide in January.
Economists were also cheered by figures from the British Retail Consortium suggesting sales grew by 1.9% in March on a like-for-like basis, weaker than February's 2.7% surge, but seen as decent given the weather impact.
The economic optimism helped the pound edge higher to 1.53 US dollars, while sterling also held firm against the euro.
Among stocks, even though Alcoa's earnings improvement largely reflected cost cuts, miners were encouraged by the performance and the clues it offered on improving global demand.
Vedanta Resources led the sector's gains with a 56p hike to 1116p, or 5%.
The biggest FTSE 100 risers were Vedanta Resources up 56p to 1116p, Eurasian Natural Resources ahead 12.7p to 260p, Rio Tinto up 143.5p to 3135p and Glencore International up 15.9p to 358.5p.
The biggest FTSE 100 fallers were Diageo down 51.5p to 1965.5p, Whitbread off 47p to 2392p, Smith & Nephew 12.5p lower at 739.5p and Tate & Lyle down 14p to 838.5p.
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