Oil prices boost FTSE

Oil firms Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) and BP (BP.) rallied as oil prices climbed over 3%, pushing the blue index 0.6% higher.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil rose 4.4% to $45.23 and Brent crude oil was up 4% to $46.20 per barrel, respectively.

Gold nudged higher to $1,222 per ounce and copper fell 1.4% to $5,467 per tonne.


Tesco (TSCO) grew at its fastest rate in three years in the 12 weeks to 6 November, according to grocery figures from Kantar Worldpanel. Its sales were up 2.2% year-on-year. In comparison, Sainsbury’s (SBRY) fell by 0.7% and Morrisons slipped 2.4%. Investors were excited by Tesco’s comeback against discounted supermarkets Lidl and Aldi, sending the entire quoted supermarket sector up.

Miner Anglo American (AAL) slumped 6.7% on lower rough diamond sales in its ninth cycle, which was $470m, down from $494m in the last cycle.

Low-cost airline EasyJet (EZJ) reported a 0.4% decline in revenue to £4.67bn and 27.9% drop in pre-tax profit to £495m due to challenging markets. The dividend was cut by 2.5% to 53.8p per share.

The market warmed to Intertek’s (ITRK) plan to form a Mexican joint venture with ABC Analitic, one of the country’s water testing specialists.


Broadband provider TalkTalk (TALK) disappointed investors as full year EBITDA was expected at the lower end of its guidance at £320 to £360m. The company’s fixed lower price plans resulted in a ten-fold of customers re-contracting in an average month, although there was heightened churn from existing customers.

Healthcare firm BTG (BTG) needed a shot in the arm after its first half costs were hit by legal fees and currency movements. Revenue grew by nearly a quarter to £285.4m, but this was overlooked as the stock fell 5.3% to 611.5p.

Shares in Croydon tram operator FirstGroup (FGP) said adjusted pre-tax profit fell 2.2% to £21.9m in the six months to 30 September. Good trading in its North American operations was partially offset by tougher conditions in the UK bus and rail arm.

Plastic piping systems manufacturer Polypipe (PLP) announced it was on track to meet full year expectations as a result of strong organic growth and performance from its Nuaire business. The stock was 9.7% up at 285.2p.


Investors were concerned over facilities management group Interserve’s (IRV) termination notice on its Glasgow Recycling & Renewable Energy project, prompting a 14% slide in the stock.

Powered access equipment provider Lavendon (LVD) reported a 15% increase in total and rental revenues in the nine months to 30 September, pushing its shares 6.9% higher.

Carclo (CAR) rose 8.4% to 123p on expectations of a stronger second half of the financial year and will benefit from an anticipated contribution from the Precision Tool & Die acquisition.

PipeHawk (PIP) declined 11.3% as its annual loss before tax widened from £753,000 to over a £1m due to challenging trading.

Melrose Industries (MRO) reported the acquisition of air management systems group Nortek was going well two months into its ownership, triggering a 3.9% rise in its shares to 174.5p. Overheads were trimmed and unprofitable operations are being closed, but its Brush power generators arm is not faring well due to tough end markets.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com