Tumbling oil price weighs on London’s top stocks

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Reports that Saudi Arabia and its allies could up oil production helped push down the value of London’s top index on Monday after a lacklustre session of trading.

Shares in Shell, BP and Harbour Energy all closed down heavily after a report in the Wall Street Journal sent oil prices down.

Opec, the cartel of oil-producing countries, will discuss the potential of increasing production by up to half a million barrels per day at the organisation’s next meeting in early December, the report said.

The oil companies weighed heavily on London’s FTSE 100, which ended up closing down 0.2%, or 8.67 points, ending the day at 7,376.85.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said that markets were also concerned over potential further lockdowns in China after the country recorded its first Covid deaths since April

“We’ve seen sharp declines in the price of crude oil and base metals on concerns over weaker demand, which has acted as a drag on the basic resources and the energy sector,” he said.

“The declines in crude oil haven’t been helped by a report that Saudi Arabia might back an increase in supplies.

“This has seen the likes of BP, Shell and Harbour Energy slip to the bottom of the FTSE 100.”

In New York the S&P 500 had dropped 0.6% by the time markets closed in Europe while the Dow Jones was down 0.3%.

In Germany the Dax index dropped 0.4% and France’s Cac closed down 0.2%.

On currency markets a pound could buy just under 1.18 dollars or 1.15 euros, up slightly against both.

In company news, Pendragon said that the deadline for a potential £400 million takeover has been extended.

The company said that its Swedish suitor Hedin Group will now have until December 9 to table an offer, the second extension it has received.

Shares in the business rose by nearly 5% following the news.

Meanwhile a near tripling of profits was not enough to avoid a 2% drop in the share price of catering giant Compass Group.

The business said that its recovery from the pandemic had surpassed expectations, but investors remained unimpressed.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Rentokil, up 13p to 547.4p, Smiths Group, up 37p to 1,612p, GSK, up 29.6p to 1,398p, Relx, up 49p to 2,332p, and RS Group, up 19p to 970.5p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Harbour Energy, down 27.2p to 300.25p, Ocado, down 38p to 640.2p, M&G, down 7p to 191.13p, BP, down 17p to 459.02p, and Intermediate Capital Group, down 40p to 1,170.75p.

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