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FTSE 100 hits nine-month high as oil prices jump

London's FTSE 100 rose to a nine-month high on Friday as a jump in oil prices boosted energy stocks, while investors remained focussed on Brexit trade talks with only four weeks left for Britain's transition period out of the bloc to end.

Reuters | Updated: 04-12-2020 14:54 IST | Created: 04-12-2020 14:54 IST
FTSE 100 hits nine-month high as oil prices jump

London's FTSE 100 rose to a nine-month high on Friday as a jump in oil prices boosted energy stocks, while investors remained focussed on Brexit trade talks with only four weeks left for Britain's transition period out of the bloc to end. The blue-chip FTSE 100 rose 0.8%, with BP and Royal Dutch Shell among the biggest gainers as major oil producers agreed to continue production cuts to overcome coronavirus-induced demand concerns.

The FTSE 100 has soared 17% in the past five weeks as news that a working COVID-19 vaccine would be available before year-end sparked hopes of a swift economic recovery, but analysts have cautioned about the near-term damage to the economy from sweeping business restrictions. "The vaccine is truly a wonderful development, but it's not going to instantaneously change the short-term economic performance," said Brian Hilliard, chief UK economist at SocGen.

Data on Thursday showed activity in the UK services sector in November suffered its first fall since June following a four-week partial lockdown across England. The mid-cap FTSE 250, considered a barometer of Brexit sentiment, rose 0.2%, led by the real estate, technology and consumer staples sectors.

Brexit trade talks are in a difficult phase and a deal can only be struck if the European Union accepts that Britain is a sovereign nation, a British minister said on Friday after London indicated that the chance of a breakthrough was receding. "This is not a seamless imperceptible transition to a new trading arrangement (and) there will be an impact on UK trade," Hilliard said.

In company news, McBride Plc jumped 10.6% after raising its full-year earnings outlook, helped by a surge in demand for hygiene and cleaning products. Housebuilder Berkeley Group shed 2.8% as it posted a fall in first-half profit and said the coming months would be crucial to gauge the impact of new lockdowns and Brexit.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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