BP performance boosts FTSE

A smaller-than-expected fall in third-quarter profits ensured oil giant BP surged to the top of the London market’s risers board today.

A smaller-than-expected fall in third-quarter profits ensured oil giant BP surged to the top of the London market’s risers board today.

BP’s numbers gave its shares a near 5% boost and helped the wider index regain some of its poise after yesterday’s falls.

The FTSE 100 Index rose 30.1 points to 5222.6 by mid-morning as shares rebounded from the late tumble seen last night after a sell-off in the US.

Asian stocks also retreated overnight, following losses on Wall Street amid renewed concerns that markets have rebounded ahead of world economies. Oil prices were also lower, slipping below 79 US dollars a barrel.

In London, BP posted a 50% fall in third quarter profits to €4.98bn (€3.3bn) compared to the same period last year as the much reduced oil price took its toll. But this was ahead of analyst expectations and shares added 27.3p to 594.4p.

Royal Dutch Shell, which is also set to reveal its third quarter results this week, gained 26.5p to 1878.5p. BG Group added 20p to 1143.5p.

Elsewhere, the UK’s state-owned banks were on the back foot after yesterday’s restructuring plan unveiled by Dutch bank ING highlighted the threat posed by European regulators to the financial services industry.

Amid talks with the European Commission, ING said it will split itself into two, as well as repay some of its state aid and launch a rights issue.

The UK’s part-nationalised banks, which are involved in similar talks, fell sharply today with RBS down 1.4p at 43.1p and Lloyds off 2.3p at 87.1p.

In the FTSE 250 directories group Yell was one of the biggest fallers after it gave lenders a further two days to approve its debt restructuring plans. Shares lost almost 4%, or 2.1p to 49.9p.

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