Oil giants dent FTSE

The FTSE 100 was flat this morning as oil giants BP and Shell saw their stocks hit.

Royal Dutch Shell reported that oil had been spotted in the water near one of its platforms in the Gulf of Mexico while BP faced a shareholder revolt today.

Another significant drag on the market was the World Bank cutting its forecast for China's 2012 economic growth and said a rebound might not begin before the third quarter of the year.

Miners in particular have been sensitive to negative news about the country's growth with their commodities affected although the stocks were robust in early trading in London.

Royal Dutch Shell was down more than three per cent after an oil sheen was spotted near one of the firm's platforms in the central Gulf of Mexico.

The company said it had sent in a spill response vessel to assess the situation.

Also in the oil sector BP was down just over one per cent as it prepared for its annual shareholder meeting today. Protests against executive pay hikes are expected as well as a demonstration by environmentalists.

Among financial stocks hedge fund manager Man Group was the biggest faller, down just over one per cent.

British Land was also off by more than one per cent.

On the up side RBS was up 1.9 per cent, Lloyds 1.6 per cent and Barclays 0.7 per cent.

Another gainer was temporary power supplier Aggreko, which lifted by more than two per cent after it gave an upbeat trading update on 2012.

Engineer GKN was the biggest climber with a 4.7 per cent jump after an upgrade on its stock by Credit Suisse.

Rio Tinto was the pick of the miners with a 2.5 per cent rise despite lower expectations for its iron ore output.

On the FTSE 250 JD Sports was down by four per cent after it reported a fall in profit and margins being squeezed.

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