Lower oil prices pull BP and FTSE lower at close

The FTSE 100 opened in high spirits to hit a new pandemic-era high, but fell back to close in the red on drifting oil prices.

London’s top index had been boosted by BP posting its highest profits in eight years, but the oil major lost steam, eventually dragging the FTSE down with it.

The FTSE 100 ended the day down 6.4 points, or 0.08%, at 7,567.07 points.

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said: “Despite a positive open, European markets retreated from their intraday highs, with the FTSE 100 briefly hitting a new two-year high, before falling, with lower oil prices acting as a bigger drag on the energy sector.

The strength of the US dollar and the resumption of nuclear talks between the United States and Iran appear to be behind the decline in oil prices.

The price of Brent crude fell 2.59% to US$90.31 a barrel as London markets closed.

That pushed down BP, which previously revealed it had grown to a mammoth underlying profit of US$12.8bn (£9.5bn) in 2021 after losses of 5.7 billion US dollars (£4.2 billion) the previous year thanks to the rebound in oil and gas. prices.

Shares of BP closed 9.65p lower at 399p despite reporting more shareholder returns.

Elsewhere in Europe, other key markets have managed to stay afloat despite falling confidence.

The French Cac was up 0.24% and the German Dax 0.2% at the end of the session.

Across the Atlantic, US stocks edged higher as traders awaited key economic data, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq index particularly fragile.

“U.S. CPI (consumer price index) inflation looms over the week, bringing with it the potential to undo any gains made before the release,” market analyst Chris Beauchamp said. chef at IG.

“As a result, no one seems too eager to buy the dip this time around, lest they find that falling liquidity levels lead to a sudden drop that drives buyers out of their positions.”

Meanwhile, the pound made minor gains, rising against a weaker euro after European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde tempered expectations of a possible rate hike.

The pound rose 0.01% against the US dollar to 1.355, and 0.02% against the euro to 1.188.

In company news, Ocado shares plunged to their lowest level in nearly two years after the online retail giant blamed labor shortages for stunting growth. .

The company added that increased international investment could reduce future profits.

Shares slipped 182p to 1,225p as a result.

Travel agency Tui also closed lower despite issuing an upbeat update highlighting rising revenue in the last three months of 2021.

Nevertheless, the shares fell 4.6p to 255.6p after it was revealed that bookings for the current quarter were affected by the emergence of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

The biggest risers in the FTSE 100 were IAG, up 6.06p at 167.16p, Polymetal, up 37.5p at 1,088.5p, Anglo American, up 106.5p at 3,489.5p , Intercontinental Hotels Group, up 117p to 4,982p and St James’s Place. , up to 36p to 336.6p.

The biggest falls in the FTSE 100 were Ocado, down 182p to 1,225p, Airtel Africa, down 13p to 141.7p, Shell, down 66p to 1,996p, London Stock Exchange, down 212p to 6,976p, and Croda, down 208p to 7,434p.

Steve R. Hansen