The pre-Christmas rally for the FTSE 100 Index continued today despite the impact of lower oil prices on heavyweight energy stocks. The price of Brent crude fell back to 60 US dollars a barrel amid signs that Saudi Arabia is focused on maintaining its market share rather than cutting back production. Exploration firm BG Group was the biggest faller in the top flight, with a decline of 2% or 15.9p to 870.2p. Tullow Oil was off 0.8p at 406.2p.
Energy-based stocks maintained the London market’s pre-Christmas rally today after benefiting from a rebound in the price of oil. Comments from Saudi petroleum minister Ali Naimi that he was certain the oil market would recover with the improvement of the global economy helped the price of Brent crude rally to just below 63 US dollars a barrel. This provided a much-needed boost to Royal Dutch Shell, which lifted 3% or 61p to 2283.5p, whilst BP added 2% or 9.2p to 422.2p.
Marathon Oil has estimated its investment and exploration budget will be 20% lower for 2015. The company said the capital program of around $4.5billion for next year will reflect a significant weighting to the company’s high return investment opportunities in the US as well as lower exploration spending. Marathon said the “continuing dynamic change” in crude oil markets, together with the expected impact to oilfield service cost, mean it will need additional time before the budget is finalised.
The FTSE 100 Index held on to strong gains in the previous session today as a bullish start for Wall Street and an oil price bounce helped blue-chip shares recover from earlier turbulence. A volatile session on Tuesday hit by jitters over the price of oil and the slide in value of the Russian rouble had seen the index close 2.5% ahead. The latest session saw it earlier fall by nearly 100 points but recover to close 4.6 points up at 6336.5. Oil climbed back above the 60 US dollars mark for a barrel of Brent crude.
Volatility for world markets continued today as the FTSE 100 Index put back a large chunk of the 2.5% rise seen in its previous session. Oil prices steadied at 60 US dollars for a barrel of Brent crude but this was not enough to prevent another weak session in Europe as confidence was hit by the continued financial crisis in Russia. The FTSE 100 Index stood 45 points lower at 6287.1, having rebounded by 2.5% or 149 points at the end of choppy trading yesterday.
A better session for energy stocks today helped the FTSE 100 Index steady after its worst week of trading since August 2011. Investors found some value in a number of heavyweight oil companies as the price of Brent crude stabilised at around $63 a barrel.
Energy stocks have received some respite after their battering yesterday in the wake of the latest slide in the price of oil. Brent crude held firm at just over 64 US dollars a barrel, having fallen sharply on Wednesday when a monthly report by industry cartel Opec said demand next year was expected to fall to its lowest level in a decade. The FTSE 100 Index, which opened the week at 6742, dipped below 6500 at one stage before recovering by 10.8 points to 6510.7 amid lacklustre trading.
Total has entered into an agreement for the sale of its remaining stake in GTT (Gaztransport and Technigaz) to Temasek. The sale, which was netted the French company more than $650million, follows an initial transaction in February this year. The company said it initially reduced its shareholding from 30% to 10.4%.
The FTSE 100 bounced back yesterday as stronger commodity stocks helped it more than recover the ground lost in a 1% decline over the previous session. The rebound came as the price of Brent crude rose to $71 a barrel, having slumped to a five-year low close to $67 on Monday after Opec ministers failed to cut production.
Global growth in 2015-2016 will enjoy support from continued monetary expansion and an increasingly solid recovery in the United States. Development in the Nordic countries is likely to vary substantially, with Finland in particular struggling, say SEB’s economists in a new issue of Nordic Outlook. Lower energy prices – with Brent crude oil expected to cost about 85 dollars per barrel during 2015 – have the potential to stimulate household purchasing power and business investment appetite, thereby boosting the overall GDP level in the 34 mainly affluent countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) by 0.5% points over a few years. The world economy is being both stressed and squeezed by continued balance sheet weaknesses, difficult rebalancing processes in emerging markets, low investment appetite, wide wealth gaps and heightened geopolitical uncertainty.
Prosafe said a lower demand for accommodation vessels in the North Sea region has seen a number of projects postponed or made smaller. The company posted its third quarter results with an operating profit of $93million.
Encana Corp has extended a deadline to buy outstanding shares of common stock of Athlon Energy at $58.50 a share until next week. The deadline, set to US east coast time, will see the chance to purchase shares stop at 12am, Wednesday, November 12. The offer had previously been scheduled to expire at midnight at the end of this week but the company said based on information provided by the depository for the offer 35,302,143 shares of common stock of Athlon had been validly tendered, but not validly withdrawn from the offer.