LONDON -- With the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES:^FTSE) in a gloomy mood, there were few stocks moving upward last week. London's top index put in its third losing week in a row, ending 59 points down at 6,454, as the weaker-than-expected Chinese economy and the U.S. budget deficit dampened enthusiasm. What individual movement was there? Here's one gainer and a few losses.
Insurer Aviva has been doing well, with its price up more than 40% since April's lows, and this week it enjoyed a modest boost of 11.4 pence (1.8%) to 415 pence after completing the disposal of Aviva USA. The sale, to Athene Holding, raised $2.6 billion, which was $0.8 billion more than originally announced last December because of earnings and other improvements during the last quarter.
A trading statement on Monday led Unilever shares to end the week down 91 pence (3.7%) to 2,366 pence, after the company warned of weakening emerging markets. Telling us it expects underlying sales growth of 3% to 3.5% during the quarter, the consumer-brands giant said the slowdown "has accelerated as a result of significant currency weakening." Recent falls have reversed a strong start to 2013, with the Unilever price now pretty much unchanged from 12 months ago.
The Unilever warning also led to a fall for Aggreko, of 166 pence (10.3%) to 1,442 pence, as the equipment rental provider has a large overseas presence and prices its services in dollars. The company was hit by a subsequent downgrade by Barclays, which warned that Aggreko's competitiveness has been eroded as local costs of its rental equipment are rising as a result of these currency movements.
Intertek fell 127 pence (3.8%) to 3,219 pence during the week, though 15 pence of that drop was due to the passing of the company's ex-dividend date on Wednesday. The other news was Thursday's announcement of an acquisition, with the quality and safety specialist having bought Louisiana-based Global X-Ray & Testing, or GXT, a provider of testing services to the oil and gas sector. Chief executive Wolfhart Hauser said GXT "fits well with our existing portfolio of Industrial inspection services."
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Alan Oscroft has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Aggreko and Unilever and owns shares of Aggreko. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.