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FTSE closes with gains as oil majors boosted by crude rebound

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The FTSE 100 upstaged its European counterparts after a rebound in oil prices helped to boost shares in BP and Shell.

The oil majors and London’s mining firms were among the day’s strongest performers after both crude and iron ore saw upticks in value.

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “European markets have seen a rather mixed session, with the FTSE 100 outperforming on the back of a recovery in the oil price, which is supporting the oil majors, while a rise in iron ore prices is helping to support the miners, with Rio Tinto and BHP both higher.

“The decision by the US in conjunction with other partners, to release 50 million barrels from reserves, starting in December has seen prices rise, as oil traders cover shorts, amidst an expectation that Opec+ might delay or reduce their December output hike in response.

“While this is probably not the response the Biden administration was expecting, it was also entirely predictable given that it was so widely telegraphed, and it’s not something that the US can repeat.

“A bit of a crude awakening so to speak.”

Brent crude rose by 2.9% to 82.01 dollars per barrel when the London markets closed.

The FTSE 100 closed 11.23 points, or 0.15%, higher at 7,266.69 on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Europe, the other major markets tipped lower as Covid-19 concerns continued.

The German Dax decreased by 1.11% and the French Cac dropped by 0.85%.

Across the Atlantic, Wall Street had a mixed opening as traders appeared cautious following record highs on Monday after President Biden said he planned to reappoint Jerome Powell to chair the Federal Reserve.

Meanwhile, sterling moved slightly higher after better flash PMI figures than expected, which revealed resilient consumer demand although businesses warned of further surges in costs.

The pound moved 0.11% higher versus the US dollar at 1.338, and increased 0.12% against the euro at 1.188.

In company news, Compass led London’s top flight after it posted profits for the full-year which surpassed expectations.

The world’s biggest caterer saw pre-tax profits more than double to £464 million in the year to September 30 from £210 million the previous year.

Shares moved 83p higher to 1,555.5p as a result.

Online white goods retailer AO World plunged lower after it said product shortages, price hikes and consumer belt-tightening are set to hit peak festive trading.

The London-listed firm saw shares drop by 17.8p to 106.2p as it sank to a £10 million pre-tax loss in the six months to September 30.

Elsewhere, newspaper publisher Reach fell 23p to 279p  after it reported a 3.5% decline in its latest print revenues.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Compass Group, up 83p to 1,555.5p, CRH, up 126p to 3,783p, BHP, up 58.2p to 2,001p, Rio Tinto, up 131p to 4,670.5p, and Barratt Developments, up 16.8p to 702.2p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Halma, down 179p to 2,956p, United Utilities, down 91p to 1,804p, Spirax-Sarco, down 600p to 15,845p, Hargreaves Lansdown, down 52p to 1,436p, and Segro, down 49p to 1,359p.

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