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Bank and oil cheer lifts FTSE 100

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PA City Staff
·3-min read
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After struggling over the past year, banks in the UK have started showing some better performance in recent months.

Weighed down by the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit worries, shares in the banks have “seriously underperformed” analysts say. But Brexit is now done, and the pandemic is cooling, and on Wednesday Lloyds revealed a set of good results.

The bank’s first quarter profits made it one of the best performers on the FTSE 100 index on the day, but also lifted Natwest, Barclays and HSBC.

“Lloyds Bank latest Q1 numbers has seen the share price hit its highest levels in over a year, with the bank posting profits in the first three months of this year, that exceeded all of 2020,” CMC Markets chief market analyst Michael Hewson said.

First-quarter profits hit £1.9 billion from £74 million a year earlier, sending shares up 3.5%.

It was the celebrations that these banks were holding, and happy oil investors who helped push up the FTSE 100 by 0.3%, or 18.7 points, to 6963.67.

Shell was one of the best performers on the day, it reports results tomorrow, while BP also rose. The price of Brent crude oil rose 1.4%.

Across the pond, the S&P 500 rose 0.1%, while the Dow Jones dropped 0.3%.

On the continent, the German Dax index rose 0.3%, while the Cac in Paris increased by 0.6%.

The pound rose 0.1% to 1.3918 dollars, but was flat against the euro at 1.1504.

Sainsbury’s shares dropped 2.8% on Wednesday. The company had said that sales jumped by nearly 8% in the year to March 6 as shoppers were forced to turn to supermarkets even for their non-essential items, as many other shops were closed.

Shares in Reckitt Benckiser fell 3.9% as the company reported a 1.1% drop in sales to £3.5 billion in the first quarter.

Dixons Carphone reported that like-for-like revenue grew 12% in the 25 weeks to April 24. Shares also dropped, down 6.7%.

Metro Bank shares dropped 0.4% as it unveiled a 17% drop in lending in the first quarter.

GlaxoSmithKline said that its operating profit fell 16% to £1.7 billion in the first three months of the year. Shares were flat.

Shares were also unmoved in Persimmon as it said that forward sales are currently 23% ahead of last year’s levels.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were WPP, up 40.6p to 991.6p, Lloyds Group, up 1.53p to 45.105p, BP, up 9.2p to 304.5p, Shell ‘A’, up 27p to 1382.2p, and Shell ‘B’, up 24.6p to 1317.8p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Fresnillo, down 36.4p to 850.2p, Reckitt Benckiser, down 258p to 6328p, Aveva, down 140p to 3555p, Sainsbury, down 7.1p to 235p, and Bunzl, down 50p to 2291p.