Oil price rise boost after difficult week
TOP-FLIGHT stocks in London were boosted by rising oil prices in trading yesterday, but observers said a recovery could not make up for the “dreadful” week on the markets.
The FTSE 100 was up 74 points, or 1.1 per cent, at 6,778.11, regaining only some of what it lost on Thursday when £56 billion was wiped amid fears that the arrest of a senior Huawei official in Canada could reignite tension between the US and China.
David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets, said: “Volatility is high and investors are twitchy.
“It has been a dreadful week for European markets, and today’s positive move can’t mask the previous losses.”
The French Cac was up 0.68 per cent but the German Dax continued its slump, falling 0.21 per cent.
The FTSE 100 was given a boost by oil prices after a closely watched Opec meeting in Vienna concluded with a plan to cut production by 1.2 million barrels a day.
A barrel of Brent crude oil was trading 4.5 per cent higher at 62.90 US dollars.
Neil Wilson, of Markets.com, said: “The cut is a real positive after some fairly tough negotiations. The fact that the Opec-Russia alliance is still holding matters as much as the details of the deal itself.
“It’s probably a little better than the market had been expecting, but
74 Points increase on the FTSE 100, which closed last night at 6,778.11
not by a lot. I’d still say that a deeper cut would be needed to really see oil rally back to 70 US dollars.”
Meanwhile, Brexit fears continued to weigh on the pound, which was down 0.44 per cent at 1.272 US dollars despite a weaker day for the greenback. Sterling was also 0.51 per cent down versus the euro at 1.176.
In corporate news, shares in AJ Bell rocketed on their first day of trading as the investment firm debuted on the stock exchange.
The group had initially set a price of 160p per share, but the stock opened at 162p and gained 58p to close at 220p.
Berkeley shares were in demand after the group upgraded its profit forecast, rising 35p to 3,356p.
There was more bad news for the high street as Primark owner Associated British Foods warned that trading at the budget retail chain in the run-up to Christmas had been “challenging”.
ABF shares closed 108p down at 2,242p.
The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Wood Group up 26.6p to 628p, Evraz up 17.8p to 481.6p, Smith & Nephew up 54.5p to 1,475p and Anglo American up 51.4p to 1,607.8p. The biggest fallers were Associated British Foods down 108p to 2,242p, GVC Holdings down 13p to 669p, Paddy Power down 115p to 6,455p, and Informa down 11p to 651.8p.