* FTSE 100 index rises 0.3 percent
* Insurers up on expectations of EU capital rules deal
* Chinese growth data helps mining sector
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Oct 18 Britain's top share index hit a
one-month high on Friday, with insurers gaining on the news that
the European Union is close to finalising a deal on insurance
capital rules and Asia-based AIA Group reporting new
The mining sector also advanced after data from China, the
world's second largest economy and its biggest metals consumer,
showed the economy grew 7.8 percent in the third quarter, its
quickest pace this year.
British insurer Prudential rose 3.4 percent, the top
gainer on the blue-chip FTSE 100 index, which was up
19.98 points, or 0.3 percent, at 6,596.14 by 0858 GMT. The
index, up for a seventh straight session, rose to a one-month
high of 6,611.94 earlier in the session.
Prudential added the most points to the FTSE 100 index,
while other British insurers were also in demand. Legal and
General gained 0.7 percent and Aviva rose 0.4
percent on the positive sector news.
Sharon Bowles, the British Liberal Democrat chairwoman of
the European Parliament's economic affairs committee, told
Reuters late on Thursday that a deal on how insurers will hold
enough capital to keep policyholders safe will severely water
down the version sought by industry regulators.
"Clearly a deal for the industry reduces uncertainty. Talk
that the deal will be less prohibitive than once thought is also
positive," said Keith Bowman, an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.
Traders said British insurers were also supported by news
that AIA Group, the world's fourth-largest insurer by
market capitalisation, saw the value of its new business rising
by 26 percent in the third quarter.
"We like the insurance sector because of its strong earnings
momentum and low valuation," said Robert Parkes, an equity
strategist at HSBC Securities.
Among other sectors, UK miners rose 0.6 percent
on positive Chinese growth data, with BHP Billiton
rising 1 percent and Rio Tinto gaining 0.6 percent.
"I suspect that the data, albeit one must always take it
with a pinch of salt, could prove supportive to the miners in
the near-term," said Jeremy Batstone-Carr, head of private
client research at Charles Stanley.
"China is not out of the woods yet but for now all looks
(Editing by Gareth Jones)