Legal and General fell sharply after Osborne announced in today's Budget that there will be a "radical change" to the pension system, as a result of which half a million people will no longer have to buy an annuity, Elissa Bayer, Senior Investment Director at Investec Wealth & Investment explained.
declined after Canaccord Genuity downgraded the company from 'buy' to 'hold' with a target price of 375p.
Bookmaker William Hill slumped after the government's new Budget included a 25p increase in duty on fixed-odds betting terminals.
Antofagasta was also lower after the group yesterday reduced its total dividend for 2013 as revenues declined, reflecting a drop in the price of commodities. This prompted a number of broker comments during today's session, including Westhouse Securities which reduced its target price from 1,060p to 985p, Credit Suisse which downgraded the stock from 'neutral' to 'underperform', JP Morgan which cut its target price from 850p to 830p, and Citi which lowered its target price from 800p to 760p.
Smiths Group was in the red following its interim results after Numis Securities chose to keep a 'reduce' rating on the stock, saying it sees "better value elsewhere" in the sector. The company's pre-tax profit for continuing operations fell by 4% to £215m, while group revenues fell by 2% to £1,442m on a reported basis. The broker said that the firm's new medium-term targets "do not appear particularly stretched", but also suggested that there is little appetite by management to break the company up.
Meanwhile, shares of Hargreaves Lansdown were at the top of the leaderboard, which appears to be linked to the Budget statement which announced savers will be allowed to transfer funds back and forth between their cash and stock ISAs.
BAE Systems was also higher after RBS Capital said the outlook for the US defence budget - which accounted for 33% of its 2013 sales - had stabilised somewhat.
Persimmon was up on comments from UBS that the group offers the "best of both worlds" in terms of top-line growth and returns. It also lifted its rating on the stock from 'neutral' to 'buy'.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,382.00p +5.17%
BAE Systems (BA.) 419.20p +2.80%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 4,925.00p +2.33%
Sage Group (SGE) 424.30p +2.02%
Hammerson (HMSO) 562.50p +1.99%
Barclays (BARC) 240.20p +1.76%
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,443.00p +1.16%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,382.00p +1.10%
Meggitt (MGGT) 470.30p +1.07%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 472.40p +1.07%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 201.80p -12.45%
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 315.60p -10.09%
William Hill (WMH) 340.80p -9.65%
Aviva (AV.) 478.40p -7.47%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 778.50p -6.04%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,400.00p -4.60%
Standard Life (SL.) 350.00p -4.21%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,302.00p -3.63%
Glencore Xstrata (GLEN) 302.35p -2.92%
Prudential (PRU) 1,331.00p -2.74%