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FTSE 100 risers and fallers
The blue-chip index heads into its fifth day of gains on Friday, with BP and Shell helping to drag it higher, along with a support from tobacco stocks and tour operator TUI.
The FTSE 100 has seen five consecutive days of gains, with the index climbing more than 2.1% to 7,333 as of 14:55 GMT on Friday.
Blue-chip stocks, which are more exposed to overseas markets, were buoyed this week by signs that the ongoing trade dispute between the US and Mexico is calming down.
FTSE 100 risers
British oil and gas majors Royal Dutch Shell and BP climbed more than 3% and 2.7% respectively this week after oil prices rose by 1%, fuelled by OPEC and other producers showing signs of extending supply cuts.
‘On the OPEC side, a rollover is almost in the bag,’ Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said. ‘The question is to calibrate with non-OPEC [producers].’
‘I don’t think there will be a need to deepen the cut ... I’m hoping it will be an easy decision and that we’ll roll over, but if it’s not, we will be flexible in terms of our position.’
Tobacco stocks have also performed well this week, with investors favouring the sector at times of political and economic uncertainty, with British American Tobacco (BAT) climbing more than 9% this week.
Despite BAT’s stock performing well over the last five trading sessions, the tobacco industry faces several major challenges as global smoking rates continue to decline, with BAT and rival Imperial Brands both seeing their share prices fall almost 50% since August last year.
But with BAT’s making the switch to e-cigarettes it, and the industry as a whole, has the ability to perform well over the long-term, so long as it can raise enough cash from traditional products while it continues its transition.
TUI’s share price has performed relatively well considering it has rack up considerable losses so far this year after its fleet of 737 Max’s got grounded. But investors supported its share price in the winter months with the travel operator hoping to pick things up now that summer is in full swing.
Meanwhile, telecoms provider BT also performed well this week, with analysts praising the company’s decision to move away from sports rights ownership to boost cash flow and invest in ultrafast broadband networks.
FTSE 100 fallers
Marks & Spencer’s share price rose at the start of this week only to end the week down by more than 1.8% to 219p a share.
In February M&S signed a £750 million deal with Ocado to secure home deliveries of its food for the first time, helping the company enter a extremely profitable and competitive part of the retail market.
However, investors were quick to vent their frustrations with how the deal was funded, with M&S financing the joint venture primarily through a rights issue, diluting existing shareholders holdings in the company.
The sale of new share will raise over £600 million, with each rights issue share being sold at a 32% discount, according to a report by Sky News.
British retailer Next also was unable to join the rally this week, sliding around 1% on Friday. Next continues to invest a lot of capital in strengthening its online business in reaction to the heavy losses that it and many of its rivals have sustained on the high street.
Next is facing significant competition from low-cost online only fashion retailers like ASOS, which is applying added pressure on the company to look at ways to trim the fat and cut costs.
The increased competition from low-cost rivals comes at a time when the British consumers are feeling the impact of rising inflation and stagnating wages, loosening Next's grip on British consumers.
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