Oil price rise boost af­ter dif­fi­cult week

Western Daily Press (Saturday) - - Business -

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.

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