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FTSE climbs after energy stocks boosted by bumper Shell profits

The FTSE 100 lifted further to close at its highest level in three weeks after a strong showing by Shell helped support trading.

The oil major revealed upbeat profits for the past three months on Thursday morning, sparking a rally among its peers.

London’s top index ended the day up 17.62 points, or 0.25%, at 7,073.69.

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “It’s been another choppy session for markets in Europe, with the FTSE 100 pushing higher, helped by strong gains from the energy sector, after Shell announced another decent set of quarterly numbers.”

Shell said adjusted earnings more than doubled to 9.5 billion dollars (£8.2 billion) in the three months to the end of September as it benefitted from gas prices remaining high.

The company saw shares rise by 125.5p to 2,425p after it confirmed it is on track for its most profitable year ever, withstanding a collapse in the energy markets.

Elsewhere in Europe, sentiment was mixed after the European Central Bank (ECB) hiked interest rates to 1.5% in the bank’s biggest increase since 2009.

“The ECB failed to follow their Canadian and Australian counterparts in easing back on the pace of their tightening phase, with the bank raising rates by another 75-basis points today,” commented Joshua Mahoney, senior market analyst at IG.

“With the ECB having previously taken time to act, they appear willing to continue raising rates in a bid to reach the levels seen elsewhere around the world.”

The German Dax improved 0.21% by the end of the session and the French Cac finished 0.37% lower.

In the US, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 opened higher after US GDP data for the third quarter of 2022 surpassed economist expectations.

Meanwhile, sterling made progress against the euro which weakened in the face of the Eurozone interest rate jump.

The pound was down 0.43% against the dollar at 1.157, but was 0.51% higher against the euro at 1.158 at the close.

In company news, banking giant Lloyds closed slightly higher despite the company missing profit expectations for the past quarter.

The company dipped lower at the start of trading but clawed back to positive territory despite profits of £1.51 billion, down 26% against the same quarter a year earlier.

Shares in the firm finished 0.23p higher at 42.78p.

Estate agency firm Foxtons jumped in value after it revenues rose by a quarter on the back of higher rents in London.

The company said its revenue hit £43.8 million in the three months to September 30, up 25% from the £35.1 million reported last year. It closed 1.9p higher at 30.75p.

The price of oil improved on Thursday after the US reported record export numbers for crude oil and other fuels.

Brent crude oil increased by 1.05% to 96.69 US dollars per barrel when the London markets closed.

The biggest risers in the FTSE 100 were Shell, up 125.5p at 2,425p, BP, up 15.9p at 481.9p, Harbour Energy, up 11.4p at 394p, Melrose Industries, up 3.3p at 116.45p, and Rolls-Royce, up 1.87p at 76.34p.

The biggest fallers of the day were Airtel Africa, down 19.2p at 107.8p, Rio Tinto, down 179p at 4,664p, Coca-Cola HBC, down 64p at 1,840p, Glencore, down 14.9p at 501p, and Intertek, down 106p at 3,757p.