London’s leading shares index crept higher today after Greece took an important step towards avoiding a default and the Bank of England said it would pump £50billion into the economy.
Greece’s coalition government agreed more austerity measures moving it closer to securing the next round of bailout funds and after the Bank of England increased its quantitative easing programme the FTSE 100 Index closed up 19.5 points at 5,895.5.
Oil and gas explorer BG Group was among London’s biggest risers after a better-than-expected improvement in full-year operating profits of 19%, driven by demand for liquefied natural gas. Shares were 45.5p higher at 1,491.5p, while Tullow Oil improved 31p to £15.14.
There was no such rise for Rolls-Royce despite it posting record annual profits of £1.16billion and forecasting further strong growth this year. Shares fell back 15p to 770p after a recent strong run for the blue-chip company.
Property owner British Land shares were down 2% or 11p to 497p after its third quarter results disappointed investors despite a rise in its retail occupancy rate.
The biggest Footsie risers included Amec up 39p at £11.10, Petrofac up 46p at £15.17 and Schroders ahead 40p at £16.50.
The biggest Footsie fallers included Tate & Lyle down 22.5p at 672.5p, Evraz off 13.2p at 428.8p and Icap off 7.6p at 381.4p.
Elaine McLachlan, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Inverness, noted that amongst today’s Scottish risers was STV Group up 4.3% at 97.5p.
Fallers included Aberdeen-based specialist oil and gas advisory and investment company Parkmead Group, down 3.3% to 14.75p, oil and gas exploration firm Nautical Petroleum off 2.0% at 323.88p and Stagecoach Group down 1.3% at 266.9p.