Brent crude oil was up by nearly 8% to $26.16 per barrel by the London market close today.
Its value was boosted by hopes that global oil production cuts being implemented from today and a relaxation of lockdowns in some parts of the world, including in the US, will ease a chronic imbalance between supply and demand.
The FTSE 100 fell by 214.04 points, or 3.5% to 5,901.21 after oil giant Shell and Lloyds Banking Group laid bare the impact of Covid-19 on their finances.
Shell, which reported a huge slump in first quarter profits and slashed its dividend for the first time since the Second World War, saw its “A” class shares fall by nearly 11% to £13.25, wiping more than £10 billion off the company’s market value.
Lloyds, which owns Bank of Scotland, fell 2.25% to 32.24p after it booked a £1.4bn Covid-19 charge in first quarter results. Pre-tax profits plunged 95% to £74 million, from more than £1.6bn in the same three months of last year.
Supermarket Sainsbury’s was nearly 4.5% lower at 198.1p after it warned Covid-19 would slice more than £500m from profits this year. It also revealed a 2% fall in underlying pre-tax profits to £586m during the year to March 7.