LONDON -- We saw a small gain in the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE), this week, of 29 points to take the U.K.'s top index to 6,557 points. The big news of the week was the U.K. budget, which provided a blow to insurers as it abolished the legal requirement for pensioners to invest their retirement pot in an annuity -- although that was very good news for pensioners themselves.
Most of the week's big moves were budget-related. Here's a look at a few.
Legal & General (LGEN -0.04%)
Legal & General was one of those hit by the annuities bombshell, losing 220 pence (9.6%) to 206 pence on the week. The insurance and savings company did downplay the impact of the budget news, saying it is well placed for the change -- but it admitted that the changes to U.K. pensions regulations "will have far-reaching consequences" for the business.
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL -0.31%)
Amongst those that gained this week was broker and investment manager Hargreaves Lansdown, whose shareholders enjoyed a rise of 120 pence (9.3%) to 1,414 pence.
The price had been languishing since the firm's results in February but enjoyed a boost on budget day, presumably in anticipation of all that cash coming its way that would previously have gone into annuities.
BAE Systems (LSE: BA)
The BAE Systems share price took a bit of a knock in February, when revenues for 2013 fell short of expectations by around 700 million pounds -- largely because of depressed defense spending.
But the price has been picking up a little in March, and this week we saw a gain of 23 pence (5.9%) to 411 pence. With the stock on a forward P/E of only 10 and with dividend yields of better than 5% forecast, BAE could be a bargain.
William Hill (WMH)
Back to budget fall-out, and gambling firm William Hill suffered from gambling tax changes -- the tax on some machine games profits is to be raised from 20% to 25%.
The company told us that had the new rates of tax been applicable to 2013 profits, its bottom line would have been hit to the tune of 22 million pounds. The stock fell 37 pence (10%) to 339 pence in response.
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