London open: Stocks push higher as Shell, BP rally
London equity markets rose in early trade on Thursday following heavy losses in the previous session, with energy shares on the front foot amid rising oil prices.
At 0840 GMT, the FTSE 100 was up 0.5% at 5,484.22.
Oil prices rose after US President Donald Trump said he expects Saudi Arabia and Russia to reach a deal soon to end the price war. West Texas Intermediate was up 8.4% at $22.18 a barrel and Brent crude was 9.6% higher at $27.36.
CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "The drag on markets yesterday wasn’t helped by continued weakness in the oil price, however we do appear to be seeing some gains in that regard this morning on a couple of headlines that China will start topping up its state reserves, and that Saudi Arabia is supporting co-operation amongst oil producers to stabilise oil markets.
"These gains are helping support rebounds in Royal Dutch Shell and BP’s share price, as well as a modest stabilisation in early trading for European markets."
Elsewhere, British Airways parent IAG was up following a BBC report that BA is placing 36,000 staff on furlough after demand collapsed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Segro advanced after warning on earnings but saying it will still pay a dividend for 2019, while self-storage company Safestore pushed higher after saying it will pay out its final dividend as its stores remain open despite the outbreak.
On the downside, cruise operator Carnival was the standout loser, while budget airline easyJet flew lower after founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou demanded a general meeting to remove a director as the first step in carrying out his threat to pick off board members unless the company cancels a large aircraft order.
Recruiter Hays slid after warning on profits, cancelling its dividend and announcing a £200m equity raising.
British Gas owner Centrica fell as it cancelled its dividend and cut capex by £200m to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 1,419.60p 4.97%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 1,486.80p 4.62%
Evraz (EVR) 235.30p 4.02%
SEGRO (SGRO) 768.60p 3.86%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,127.00p 3.35%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 176.85p 3.09%
Meggitt (MGGT) 253.00p 3.01%
BP (BP.) 342.85p 2.74%
Glencore (GLEN) 122.32p 2.65%
3i Group (III) 731.60p 2.52%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Carnival (CCL) 720.00p -7.57%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 290.60p -4.72%
Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) 200.40p -4.34%
Phoenix Group Holdings (PHNX) 575.00p -3.75%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,283.50p -3.68%
Aveva Group (AVV) 3,284.00p -3.33%
easyJet (EZJ) 509.00p -3.16%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,353.50p -2.94%
Pennon Group (PNN) 1,028.50p -2.42%
National Grid (NG.) 890.80p -2.28%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Premier Oil (PMO) 17.63p 12.11%
Virgin Money UK (VMUK) 57.98p 6.93%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 202.50p 5.52%
Hastings Group Holdings (HSTG) 192.10p 5.49%
Energean Oil & Gas (ENOG) 598.00p 4.73%
Vivo Energy (VVO) 68.00p 4.62%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 155.25p 4.51%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 80.00p 4.51%
Stagecoach Group (SGC) 74.00p 4.15%
Scottish Inv Trust (SCIN) 645.00p 4.03%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Hays (HAS) 95.90p -12.34%
Senior (SNR) 63.20p -4.82%
William Hill (WMH) 63.94p -4.77%
Morgan Advanced Materials (MGAM) 182.20p -4.31%
Hammerson (HMSO) 72.68p -4.04%
TP ICAP (TCAP) 296.00p -3.96%
Watches of Switzerland Group (WOSG) 179.00p -3.66%
Elementis (ELM) 46.32p -3.46%
Pagegroup (PAGE) 347.40p -3.23%
SSP Group (SSPG) 279.00p -3.19%