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FTSE nudges higher after commodity firms make strong gains

London’s top flight closed 18.27 points, or 0.25%, higher at 7,222.82 on Monday.

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London markets moved higher on Monday on the back of a strong showing for commodity companies (Jonathan Brady/PA)

London markets moved higher on Monday on the back of a strong showing for commodity companies (Jonathan Brady/PA)

London markets moved higher on Monday on the back of a strong showing for commodity companies (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The FTSE 100 rose to once again close in on pre-pandemic levels after a strong day for commodity firms.

Nevertheless, gains in London were relatively modest as traders sat on their hands ahead of Wednesday’s Budget and showed little response to early announcements such as an increase to the National Living Wage.

London’s top flight closed 18.27 points, or 0.25%, higher at 7,222.82 on Monday.

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “It’s been a fairly solid start to the week for markets in Europe, although the Cac40 is lagging behind, while the FTSE 100 briefly hit a new 18-month high before slipping back.

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The oil giants such as BP and Royal Dutch Shell have seen their shares rise along with oil prices (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The oil giants such as BP and Royal Dutch Shell have seen their shares rise along with oil prices (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The oil giants such as BP and Royal Dutch Shell have seen their shares rise along with oil prices (Jonathan Brady/PA)

“The main gainers today, given the continued rise in oil prices to multi-year highs, have been the likes of BP and Royal Dutch Shell, while BHP Group is also doing well given its exposure to US shale, as US oil prices make new seven-year highs.”

The oil major benefited from another leap in the price of crude oil after a further fall in US oil rig counts.

Rising crude prices also helped to lift the price at UK petrol pumps to a new high over the weekend, while diesel was slightly short of record levels.

Brent crude increased by 0.74% to 86.16 dollars per barrel.

Across the channel, Europe’s other major markets were mixed, with a particularly downbeat showing from French stocks.

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The German Dax increased by 0.36% and the French Cac slipped by 0.31%.

In the US, the Dow Jones edged higher on the opening bell as they picked up where they left off from a strong end to the week, despite Facebook falling  amid the fallout of revelations from the whistleblower Frances Haugen.

Meanwhile, sterling moved into the red against the strengthening dollar.

The pound was 0.02% lower versus the US dollar at 1.376 and was up 0.03% against the euro at 1.186.

In company news, Darktrace shares plunged after brokers at Peel Hunt told investors they believed the stock was worth only half of its previous closing valuation.

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HSBC made gains after it announced a third-quarter profit rise (Ian West/PA)

HSBC made gains after it announced a third-quarter profit rise (Ian West/PA)

HSBC made gains after it announced a third-quarter profit rise (Ian West/PA)

Sentiment in the cybersecurity firm nosedived after the City analysts said they recognised a “disconnect between the valuation and the ultimate revenue opportunity” at the firm.

It finished the session down 195.5p at 750p as a result.

Elsewhere, banking giant HSBC made gains after it announced a third-quarter boost to its profit.

The company told shareholders that its revenue expectations were beginning to look more positive, saying it is lending more and expects policy rates to rise, adding that it could benefit from central bank interest rates rising earlier than expected.

Shares in its London stock rose by 8.25p to 443.05p on Monday.

Bar operator Nightcap finished higher after it said recent trading surpassed the firm’s expectations following the relaxation of lockdown rules, and it revealed expansion plans.

Shares moved 0.5p higher to 17p as it confirmed plans for three new openings next month.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Antofagasta, up 43.5p at 1,481p, BHP, up 55p at 1,996p, Anglo American, up 55.5p at 2,812.5p, and Rio Tinto, up 94p at 4,766.5p.

The biggest fallers of the day were BAE Systems, down 15.6p at 574p, Smiths Group, down 32.5p at 1,390p, LSE, down 152p at 7,448p, and Flutter, down 280p at 14,130p.


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