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14 Mar, 2008

By Phil Cozens | 08:43:02 | 14 March 2008

Pru shares shine in dull markets.

Bruised and battered share prices make a subdued start as US recession fears and credit crunch worries continue to keep investors on the sidelines ahead of the weekend.

By 8.30 the FTSE 100 index was three points lower at 5,690 and the Mid-250 index was 15 points down at 9,787.

In Europe both the German DAX and CAC-40 in France opened flat.

Pleasing results from Prudential contributed to a 15p rise in the shares to 668p and a Deutsche Bank buy note lent support to International Power at 389p, up 7p.

BAT, a defensive stock for troubled times, rose 20p to £19.78 and mining shares presented a brighter picture with Rio Tinto 67p higher at £54.72.

Tesco gave up 7p to 387p as Goldman Sachs downgraded the leading food retailer to sell from buy as part of a cautious review of the sector.

Drug shares lacked support with AstraZeneca 29p easier at £18.16.

Among the smaller caps TMN Group gained 5.5p to 56.5p after confirming receiving several expressions of interest.

RAB Capital picked up 3.5p to 59p after figures and favourable news also benefited Stanley Gibbons at 207p, up 10.5p and Regus Group, 3p firmer at 89p.

Inspired Gaming fell 26.75p to 183p as trading deteriorated at its pubs unit and Flying Brands tumbled 11.5p to 13.5p after cutting its dividend by 32%.

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