London Report: Iraq fighting pushes up price of oil and lifts energy stocks

ENERGY companies kept the FTSE out of the red yesterday, as oil prices were lifted by violence in Iraq. But the market was treading water as heavyweight mining stocks dropped sharply after worries about declining Chinese demand sent copper prices to a one-month low.

The FTSE 100 ended up 4.24 points, or 0.1 per cent, at 6,843.11 points.

Energy stocks added 10.24 points to the index as Brent crude oil climbed towards $112 a barrel on concerns for supply from Iraq. Sunni Muslim rebels overran the Iraqi city of Tikrit on Wednesday and closed in on the country’s biggest oil refinery.

BG, which does not have a presence in Iraq, rose 2.5 per cent, the top riser, while BP and Royal Dutch Shell, which are present there, added 0.7 per cent and 0.5 per cent, respectively.

ITV rose 1.6 per cent to 179.40 points after a Brandrepublic report suggested that advertising group Omnicom would redirect £30m worth of ad spending from rival Channel 5.

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