FTSE 100 movers: Oil majors gain but airlines drop as Brent rallies
London's FTSE 100 was up 0.8% at 7,522.51 in afternoon trade on Tuesday, with oil majors pacing the advance.
Pest control business Rentokil was sitting pretty at the top of the FTSE 100, with traders pointing to a comment from Citi, which said the stock's inclusion in China's MSCI main index from May could prove a tailwind for the shares.
Education publisher Pearson gained ground ahead of its first-quarter trading update at the end of the week.
Oil giants BP and Royal Dutch Shell saw their shares gush higher as oil prices rallied after the US decided not to renew its Iran sanction waivers for a spate of crude oil importers, including China and India.
Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com, said: "Suddenly we’re back to supply uncertainty being a graver threat than demand uncertainty. This risks a very real prospect of an abrupt spike in prices if there is not enough supply to fill the gap. It is no guarantee that Saudi Arabia can simply open the taps, moreover having made that mistake last year ahead of the sanctions being imposed, the country will seek clear evidence that it needs to raise output before doing so.
"Risks seem skewed to the upside for oil and we may see a pop higher still. Brent was last just below $74, but a return to $80 seems eminently possible now, particularly given the short time frame allowed for countries to meet the May deadline."
Airlines EasyJet and IAG fell, however, amid the prospect of higher fuel costs.
Chilean copper miner Antofagasta was also in the red ahead of a first-quarter production update on Wednesday, while banks Barclays and RBS were both lower ahead of Q1 results on Thursday and Friday, respectively.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Rentokil Initial (RTO) 385.90p 2.93%
Pearson (PSON) 865.20p 2.58%
Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 8,225.00p 2.43%
NMC Health (NMC) 2,576.00p 2.30%
Auto Trader Group (AUTO) 563.80p 2.21%
BP (BP.) 580.00p 2.17%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,533.80p 2.00%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,514.00p 1.93%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 5,917.00p 1.81%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 2,753.00p 1.77%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Antofagasta (ANTO) 967.80p -4.08%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,178.00p -3.36%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 539.20p -3.23%
Barclays (BARC) 165.76p -2.15%
Fresnillo (FRES) 761.90p -2.12%
Aviva (AV.) 423.10p -1.97%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 258.50p -1.49%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 3,392.00p -1.28%
Persimmon (PSN) 2,317.00p -1.15%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,992.00p -1.09%