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FTSE 100 latest: GSK makes gains, and BP and Shell climb as crude oil price gushes to two-year high

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GSK is led by Emma Walmsley (PA)
GSK is led by Emma Walmsley (PA)

GlaxoSmithKline was the top rise on the FTSE 100 this afternoon after the drugs giant’s CEO Emma Walmsley gave the latest strategy update.

The shares rose 42.8p, or 3%, to 1437.6p.

Earlier in the day oil giants BP and Royal Dutch Shell kept the London market ticking over after the price of Brent crude topped $75 for the first time since April 2019.

Global energy demand has been running hot as the economic recovery picks up speed and Americans embark on the start of their summer driving season.

Opec ministers are expected to respond with gradual increases in production, but the surge in demand and delayed return of Iranian export capacity is keeping prices high.

This was reflected in Shell and BP topping the FTSE 100 risers board today, with their shares up 2%, or 32.8p to 1,433p and 5.8p to 328.5p respectively.

The heavyweight gains helped the FTSE 100 index climb 8.52 points to 7,098.53, with other commodity stocks adding to the momentum after US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell reassured that interest rate hikes are still a long way off.

BHP shares rose 28.5p to 2093p after analysts at Morgan Stanley upgraded the mining giant and a number of its rivals, including Anglo American and Rio Tinto.

Favourable City coverage also benefited two popular retail stocks in Lloyds Banking Group and BT Group, with the latter trading at a fresh 18-month high of 206.6p after Barclays raised its price target to 260p.

It’s been slow going for Lloyds shares, although some momentum today after Credit Suisse’s 60p estimate helped the UK lender to rally half a penny to 47.25p.

The FTSE 250 index slipped 7.55 points to 22,672.09, despite 3% gains for Tullow Oil and Cairn Energy. There was also a further rise of 8.5p to 1,733.5p for Travis Perkins after surging 7% yesterday on its forecast for profits of at least £300 million in 2021. Analysts at Liberum boosted their price target on Travis shares to 1,900p, with Deutsche Bank now at 2,056p.

Small cap spotlight

AIM-quoted video games publisher TinyBuild is celebrating after its Secret Neighbor title topped the charts on the Apple App Store over the weekend with more than 300,000 downloads. Secret Neighbor, which launched on PS4 in April, is a multiplayer spin-off in the Hello Neighbor franchise, where a group of intruders try to rescue their friend.

Shares in the Seattle-based company have risen since their AIM debut in March, and gained 3.75p to 238.75p today.

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