FTSE 100 Live November 24: President Biden’s Release of Oil Stocks, Strategic Oil Reserve, Energy Market, OPEC Production, Oil Prices, Brent Crude, Virgin Money

Oil price defies White House intervention

Oil markets defied Joe Biden and other world leaders today as it became clear that tapping stocks for a few million more barrels would not make a difference in prices.

Brent crude futures remained above $ 82 a barrel today, after jumping 3% last night amid disappointment at the scale of the White House’s efforts to soften inflationary pressures.

In addition to the 50 million barrels from US strategic reserves, Japan contributed 4.2 million but the overall figure barely reaches a day’s consumption. There are also fears that the Opec cartel will react next week by curtailing its own plans to increase production.

AJ Bell chief investment officer Russ Mold said the markets were unimpressed: “Strategic reserves are supposed to be intact unless there is a real oil shortage, and there is no there is certainly no urgency at the moment.

“Governments shouldn’t use it to try to control the market price. In addition, the amount released is very small in the larger scheme of things. “

The resilience of the oil market supported shares of Royal Dutch Shell and BP, in turn raising the FTSE 100 index by 0.5% before settling up 6.62 points to 7,273.50.

Blue-chip home builders contributed to the positive session, but the best performing stock of all was quality assurance firm Intertek after jumping 6% following a strong update.

Ladbrokes owner Entain and rival Flutter Entertainment lost their chance after falling 2% and investors continued to dump Johnson Matthey’s shares after the surprise exit this month from battery materials development .

The move cost the company £ 314million in today’s half-year results, leaving the specialty chemicals company £ 9million in the red. Despite the promise of a £ 200million buyout, shares fell another 25p to 2157p.

The FTSE 250 Index lost 97.22 points to 23,123.61, with leisure-focused stocks easyJet, TUI and Cineworld among those under pressure to sell.

Animal genetics group Genus slipped 15%, down from 790p to 4460p, after revealing that tough market conditions in China will translate into profits in 2022 moderately lower than previous expectations.

Steve R. Hansen