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London Markets: Oil price rise helps FTSE 100 chisel out gains

London stocks were poised for a second day of gains, boosted by a rebound for oil prices even though the U.S. announced it would release 50 million barrels of oil from its Strategic Petroleum Reserves. A weak pound also helped.

The FTSE 100 index
UKX,
+0.27%

rose 0.3% to 7,280, while the pound
GBPUSD,
-0.10%

fell 0.3% to $1.3357. As many big multinational companies listed in London derive revenue from overseas, a weak pound works in their favor.

Sterling has dropped 2% so far this year, with losses picking up as investors price in an interest-rate increase at the Bank of England’s next policy meeting in December. Compass Group CPG, +5.70%, was up over 4% after the catering contractor reported an increase in pretax profit for fiscal 2021, booked lower costs and returned to the dividend list.

The energy sector was the biggest gainer, with shares of Royal Dutch Shell
RDSA,
+1.44%

RDS.A,
+2.13%

up 1.3% and BP
BP,
+1.81%

BP,
+2.53%

up 1.6%. Those gains came as U.S. crude
CL00,
+2.19%

rose 1.7% and Brent
BRN00,
+2.90%

rose more than 1.5% each. Earlier in the day, the White House announced the U.S. and other countries would release crude from strategic reserves in an effort in a bid to push down energy prices.

Oil prices initially fell on the news, but then rebounded as investors question what type of response would come from the OPEC and its allies.

Mining stocks were also strong, with shares of Rio Tinto
RIO,
+2.81%

RIO,
+2.53%

and BHP Group
BHP,
+2.33%

BHP,
+2.97%

up over 2% each.

Compass Group 
CPG,
+5.81%

was the best performer, with shares up over 5% after the catering contractor reported an increase in pretax profit for fiscal 2021, booked lower costs and returned to the dividend list.

Just behind Compass was CRH, with again of nearly 3% after the Irish building-materials supplier said sales rose on year for the first nine months of 2021, as it cited solid underlying demand and continued pricing progress across its key markets.

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