How to buy, sell and short BP shares

BP is one of the world’s leading energy companies, determined to keep up with the world’s changing energy needs. Discover how to buy, sell and short BP shares, and analyse the BP share price.

How to buy or invest in BP shares

You can buy BP shares in two different ways. The traditional way is to invest in the company by share dealing. Here, you’re buying shares directly in the company and becoming a shareholder – making you eligible to receive dividends (if paid) and vote in company decisions. The other way is to trade derivatives, like spread bets and CFDs.

Trading derivatives involves speculating on the rise and fall of the market price of shares. If you think they’ll go up, it’s called ‘going long’. If you reckon they’ll go down, that’s known as ‘going short’.

Keen to trade or invest in BP shares? Here’s how to do it with IG:

Investing in BP shares

  1. Create or log in to your share dealing account and go to our trading platform
  2. Type ‘BP’ in the search bar and select it
  3. Select ‘buy’ to open your investment position
  4. Choose the number of shares you want to buy
  5. Confirm your purchase and monitor your investment

Trading BP shares

  1. Create or log in to your trading account and go to our trading platform
  2. Type ‘BP’ in the search bar and select it
  3. Choose your position size
  4. Click ‘buy’ in the deal ticket
  5. Open your position and monitor your trade

How much would it cost to invest in BP?

UK best commission UK standard commission
IG £3 £8
Hargreaves Lansdown £5.95 £11.95
AJ Bell £4.95 £9.95

Get our best commission when you make three or more trades in the previous calendar month.

If investing in BP shares isn’t for you, you can trade on the price of the shares with derivatives. You’ll be able to:

  • Get full exposure with a small deposit – typically 20%-25% of the full value of the trade1
  • Spread bet without paying tax on your profits2
  • Hedge your positions with CFDs, offsetting losses against potential profits2

Open an account now to get started

How to sell or short BP shares

When the time comes to sell your BP shares – either to take a profit or cut a loss – you can do so easily via our share trading platform. Already own BP shares with another provider? No problem – transfer your electronic shares to us at no cost to you.3

Alternatively, you could short BP shares. ‘Shorting’ or ‘short-selling’ shares with spread bets or CFDs means you can make a profit if the share price falls. This is possible because you can take a position without actually owning any shares by using leverage.

You can also short shares to hedge your existing investment. If you suffer losses from one position, the profits from the other will offset those losses.

Learn more about hedging

Here’s how to sell or short BP shares with IG:

Selling BP shares

  1. Create or log in to your share dealing account and go to our trading platform
  2. Type ‘BP’ in the search bar and select it
  3. Select ‘sell’ in the deal ticket to close your investment position
  4. Choose the number of shares you want to sell
  5. Confirm the sale

Shorting BP shares

  1. Create or log in to your trading account and go to our trading platform
  2. Type ‘BP’ in the search bar and select it
  3. Choose your position size
  4. Click ‘sell’ in the deal ticket
  5. Confirm and monitor your short position

BP’s live market prices


BP shares: the basics

Headquartered in London, BP has operations in 79 countries across Europe, North and South America, Asia, Australasia and Africa. It has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and a secondary listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FWB). You’ll find BP listed under the ‘BP’ ticker.

BP appointed a new chief executive officer (CEO) on 1 July 2020, Bernard Looney, who has served on the company’s top executive team since November 2010. Leading the oil and gas company into sustainable territory, Looney drove reductions of nearly 3 million tons of CO2 equivalent in just two years.

BP hasn’t escaped the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Share prices fell drastically earlier this year, taking its biggest tumble in mid-March – going from 453p at the start of February to 236p on 18 March.

Have a look at the graph below showing the fall of the BP share price from 3 February 2020 to 14 August 2020.

What is BP’s business model?

BP freshened up its business model in 2020. In addition to delivering a range of energy products and services, it now also invests in companies that develop new tech, specifically to benefit BP and global energy systems.

This new business model has three parts:

  1. Finding and generating energy, namely additional energy resources and renewable energy
  2. Refining, manufacturing and marketing of petrochemical products
  3. Delivering products and services, such as fuel and rapid electric vehicle charging

BP key personnel: who manages the company?

There are 12 people who make up BP’s executive management team:

Bernard Looney CEO
Murray Auchincloss Chief financial officer
Gordon Birrell Executive vice-president, production and operations
Giulia Chierchia Executive vice-president, strategy and sustainability
Emma Delaney Executive vice-president, customers and products
Kerry Dryburgh Executive vice-president, people and culture
David Eyton Executive vice-president, innovation and engineering
Carol Howle Executive vice-president, trading and shipping
William Lin Executive vice-president, regions, cities and solutions
Geoff Morrell Executive vice-president, communications and advocacy
Eric Nitcher Executive vice-president, legal
Dev Sanyal Executive vice-president, gas and low carbon energy

How to analyse BP’s share price

For accurate insight into BP’s share price performance, you’ll need to do both fundamental and technical analysis.

Fundamental analysis involves looking at the macroeconomic influences that affect a share price. Changes in senior leadership, interest rates, product changes, and in BP’s case, even climate change and pollution – these factors will all impact the share price.

Some of the common metrics you could use to conduct fundamental analysis include BP’s price-to-earnings ratio (P/E ratio), return on equity (ROE), and earnings per share (EPS).

Technical analysis aims to predict what the share price might do in the future by looking at its history. You’ll look at chart patterns and price action to determine what value the market may hold.

Buying BP shares summed up

  • You can buy BP shares in two ways – traditional investment and trading derivatives
  • Investing in BP shares involves taking ownership of the company’s stock and will make you eligible to receive dividends (if paid) and vote on key decisions
  • Trading derivatives such as CFDs and spread bets enables you to take a position without owning any underlying shares
  • Shorting shares allows you to potentially make a profit when the share price falls using spread bets and CFDs
  • You can use fundamental and technical analysis to gain insight into BP’s share price performance


1 Deposits on leveraged trades are 20%-25% for 99.14% of tier-one shares (correct as of 1 June 2020). For more information, view our share trading margin rates.
2 Tax laws are subject to change and depend on individual circumstances. Tax law may differ in a jurisdiction other than the UK.
3 Physical share dematerialisation fee is £100 (inclusive of VAT) per certificate. Electronic shares are transferred free of charge. IG SIPPs are administered by James Hay, who charge a £205 annual fee and may charge for transferring investments not currently held in a SIPP. You may be out of the market for a period while your transfer takes place.

Publication date : 2020-11-26T09:31:00+0000

This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients.

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