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Sunday 22 July 2018

FTSE 100 lifted on oil rally sparked by US exit from Iran nuclear deal

Energy giants were some of the biggest winners as oil prices jumped.

Donald Trump has taken a tough line on Iran (PA)
Donald Trump has taken a tough line on Iran (PA)

By Helen Cahill, Press Association City Reporter

London’s blue-chip index was boosted by a rally in oil prices following confirmation that the US is to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.

Donald Trump said on Wednesday that the US would walk away from the international agreement, raising the prospect of a fall in supply from one of the world’s largest oil exporters.

Brent crude hit its highest level for nearly three-and-a-half years, rising by 1.67% to 77.200 US dollars per barrel.

The FTSE 100, which has a large exposure to the energy industry, raced ahead of its European rivals, closing the day 1.28% or 96.77 points higher at 7,662.52.

Energy firms were amongst the biggest winners from Mr Trump’s announcement, with BP and Royal Dutch Shell climbing by 3.9% and 3.4% respectively.

The Cac 40 in France climbed by 0.23%, while Germany’s Dax was up 0.24%.

The pound was flat against the dollar at 1.355. Against the euro, sterling was up 0.16% at 1.144.

In UK stocks, Vodafone rose after it announced an 18.4 billion euro (£16.1 billion) deal for a raft of Liberty Global assets across Europe.

The telecoms company said it had agreed to acquire operations in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania in a move that accelerates its “converged communications strategy”.

Shares closed the session up 1.15p at 208.7p.

Embattled doorstep lender Provident Financial said it is on the road to recovery after a torrid year of profit warnings and regulatory sanctions.

Provident, which sells high-cost credit through its Vanquis Bank, Moneybarn and consumer credit businesses, said its recovery plan was on track and it would meet its annual targets, boosting its shares by 8.35% or 53.6p to 695.6p.

JD Wetherspoon blamed the timing of the early May bank holiday for hitting third-quarter sales, while bemoaning “significant cost increases” in the second half of the financial year.

The pubs company logged a 3.5% increase in like-for-like sales for the 13 weeks to April 29, while total sales increased 2.8%. Shares were down 5p to 1,177p.

Shares in bakery chain Greggs tumbled after it warned full-year profits could flat-line after taking a sales hit from the Beast from the East and slower spring trading.

The retailer, which has nearly 1,900 shops across the UK, saw like-for-like sales growth in company-managed outlets slow sharply to 1.3% in the first 18 weeks of the year, down from 3.5% a year earlier.

Shares dropped by 192p or 15.15% to 1,075p.

Burberry fell to the bottom of the FTSE 100 after Belgian billionaire Albert Frere sold his stake in the British brand.

Mr Frere, the richest man in Belgium, offloaded his 6.6% holding in the fashion chain, which was held through his investment vehicle Groupe Bruxelles Lambert. Burberry’s shares closed down 6& or 114.5p at 1,770p.

Surging popularity for cruise holidays has helped boost half-year earnings at travel giant Tui as families and young people take to the seas, but the company’s shares took a hit, falling by 25.5p to 1,727.5p.

Chief executive Fritz Joussen hailed an “excellent” market outlook for cruises, which are becoming the trip of choice for younger holidaymakers as well.

Property developer St Modwen, meanwhile, is to sell off more than a quarter of its shopping centre portfolio, with the deals coming amid a prolonged retail slump.

The group said on Wednesday that it will dispose of two retail assets, the Longbridge Shopping Park in Birmingham and Wembley Central in London.

Shares closed the day down 2p at 412.6p.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Imperial Brands up 161.5p to 2,780p, BP up 21.6p to 572p, Evraz up 17.2p to 507.8p and BHP Billiton up 55p to 1,631.8p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Burberry down 114.5p to 1,770p, Compass Group down 75.5p to 1,508p, Rolls Royce down 13p to 830p and G4S down 3.9p to 257p.

Press Association

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