A larger than expected decline in US oil stockpiles helped to drive a 0.9% rise in Brent Crude prices to approximately $60 per barrel and lifted WTI Crude prices by 1.2% to $55.5 per barrel. That was good news for shares in FTSE 100 giant BP (up 1.2%, also helped by a $5.6 billion deal to exit its Alaskan operations) but oddly not Royal Dutch Shell which fell 0.3%.
AJ Bell’s Russ Mould said, “BP’s gains weren’t enough to lift the overall blue chip index as the FTSE 100 was under pressure from weakness in some of its other large constituents including Imperials Brands which fell 2.3% as investors weighed up the impact of a potential $200bn merger between rival tobacco companies Philip Morris and Altria.
“The FTSE 100 fell 0.2% to 7,074. “Markets were also weak in Europe and most of Asia with the exception of Japan’s Nikkei 225 index which rose 0.1%. Its biggest riser was pharmaceutical group Kyowa Kirin Co, up 3%.”