A last-hour surge saved the FTSE 100 from another unspectacular day, as the afternoon rally helped the blue chip index climb up 1.2 per cent to close the day on 6,161, and a surprise fall in US oil stocks put some energy into oil prices which also gained handsomely.
It wasn’t quite a green sweep but flickers of red were few and far between in a drizzly London on a day where 90 firms managed to end the day worth just a little bit more than when it started.
6 April 2016 @ 4:30pmFTSE 100 (UKX)
Drugs firms Shire, which soared 5.16 per cent to 4,258p, and Astrazeneca, which hit 4,127p, up 4.47 per cent, were the biggest winners as rival Pfizer abandoned its pursuit of Ireland’s Allegran after President Obama entered the fray.
The most powerful man in the world found time to criticise tax inversion deals - where countries try to gobble up competitors and shift their legal domicile to reduce their tax rate - putting Pfizer’s search for a new, low-tax home on pause.
Easyjet was a darker tint of orange today as its latest results revealed lost ground to Michael O’Leary’s Ryanair on the back of disappointing passenger numbers for Carolyn McCall’s outfit. It was down three per cent to 1,476p - capping off a fall of more than 15 per cent over the last year.
The United States also announced that stockpiles of oil dropped by 4.9 million barrels in the last week - which sent Brent Crude surging 5.02 per cent to $39.77 a barrel with West Texas Intermediate, as ever, hot on its tails at $37.72. Analysts had expected the US inventory to increase for an eighth consecutive week.