BRITAIN’S top share index rose for the seventh consecutive day yesterday, led by BP after its compensation deal with the White House, but gains were held in check by weak US jobs data hitting commodity-linked stocks.
The FTSE 100 was up 15.97 points, or 0.3 per cent, at 5,253.89, to close at its highest since 18 May but off the session high of 5,293.76. BP was the top performer among London’s blue chips, jumping 6.7 per cent and adding almost 17 points to the index, after the oil major agreed to set up a $20bn fund for oil spill-related damage claims and suspend its dividend.
But other energy and mining stocks waned along with commodities after US jobs data cast doubt over the speed of the recovery of the world’s largest economy.
BG Group fell 1.9 per cent while energy services firm Petrofac dropped 2.6 per cent.
Miners Fresnillo and Xstrata were among the top FTSE 100 fallers, down 2.8 and 2.4 per cent respectively.
“The jobs data was a blow for the commodities and BP flattered gains on the upside but the market’s had a pretty good week, so there’s some nice profits being banked before the investors rev up again for another push,” said Jimmy Yates, head of equities at CMC Markets.
Gold miner Randgold Resources bucked the mining sector trend, rising 1.2 per cent along with the gold price as investors sought comfort in the safe-haven metal.
Johnson Matthey also gained 2.4 per cent, helped by Deutsche Bank which lifted its rating for the supplier of catalytic converters to “buy”.
Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays took the places two to four on the FTSE 100 risers' list, up 3.4, 2.8 and 2.6 per cent respectively.