Market info

Shell shares recover from early slump

A late rally helped London’s leading shares index finish on a positive note today.

The FTSE 100 Index had been down 0.5% in early trading, but a strong start on Wall Street dragged it out of the mire to close up 75.7 points at 5,710.5, with banks and miners leading the surge.

Royal Dutch Shell dragged the market lower in early trading amid jitters over the discovery of an oil sheen in the Gulf of Mexico.

Shares had been down more than 4% but recovered to stand 0.5%, or 11p lower at £21.74, after it said it was confident it was not a cause of the leak.

BP was also lower, down 0.6p at 444.9p, but other blue-chip resources stocks were on the front foot due to hopes China will report strong GDP figures tomorrow.

Rio Tinto was up 150.5p at £34.87 and silver miner Fresnillo was ahead 47p at £16.15.

Banks also benefited from the rally, with Barclays up 5%, or 11.8p at 203.3p, and Lloyds Banking Group ahead 1.3p at 31.9p.

Other risers included Olympics power supplier Aggreko, which climbed 67p to £22.26 after an update confirmed a “very strong” first quarter.

In the FTSE 250 Index, shares in recruitment firm Hays jumped 9% after it surprised analysts with a strong third quarter performance and a forecast that full-year operating profits would be at the top of market hopes. Shares were 7.3p higher at 88.5p.

The biggest Footsie riser was GKN, up 11.8p at 203.3p, while the biggest Footsie fallers included Resolution down 2.1p at 248.5p, Centrica down 1.2p at 315.6p and Smith & Nephew off 2p at 612.5p.

Barry Shepherd, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen, noted that Petrofac added 2.7% to £17.20, FirstGroup rose 3.3% to 206.2p and Aberdeen Asset Management closed the day 4.1% higher at 267.5p.

Among the limited fallers were Nautical Petroleum, which lost 1.4% at 314.75p, and Xcite Energy, which shed 1.7% to 113.625p.

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