Belfast Telegraph

FTSE 100 edges up after late rally from oil prices

London's blue chip share index edged higher after oil prices staged a late session rally and heavily-weighted miners gained ground.

Brent crude surged by 4%, bouncing back from initial falls after latest figures showed a surprise drop in US crude inventories, easing worries over the global supply glut.

With miners also making strong gains thanks to higher metal prices, the FTSE 100 Index closed 5.8 points higher at 6162.5, having spent most of the session in the red.

But the oil price jump did little to boost trading elsewhere, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wall Street down by 0.6% at the time of close in London, while the Dax in Germany closed 0.7% lower and France's Cac 40 finished off 0.6%.

There was also mixed news on the UK manufacturing sector as official figures showed output rose 0.1% in March, but fell 1.9% year-on-year - the largest fall for nearly three years.

This saw the pound fall against a raft of currencies and was down a cent to 1.26 euros.

But sterling rose nearly a cent to 1.45 US dollars.

A clutch of poorly-received trading updates held back progress on the London market, with Thomson and First Choice owner TUI lower in the top flight and bookmaker William Hill down in the second tier.

TUI was 16p lower at 1052p despite narrowing interim losses to 236.9 million euro (£186 million), down from 283.1 million euro (£223 million) a year earlier. It revealed it is gearing up to sell its outdoor package provider in the UK.

The tour operator also stuck by its target to deliver underlying earnings growth of at least 10% in its current financial year, but the group is also facing concerns that the eurozone recovery may be stalling.

Low cost airline easyJet joined it in the red, down 24p to 1486p, giving back some of the gains seen in the previous session.

William Hill suffered hefty falls in the FTSE 250 Index, down 18.3p to 306p, after it became the latest bookmaker to reveal a hit from a string of unfavourable results.

It said net revenues slumped 3% in the first quarter as the firm saw punters cash in on bets on Cheltenham and European football.

The figures follow a profit warning in March.

Oil services firm John Wood Group rebounded after early falls, closing 5.5p higher at 623.5p, despite warning that operating profits could plunge 20% this year as the falling price of crude continues to hit producers and explorers.

The FTSE 250 firm said that market conditions "remain challenging in 2016", despite recent gains in the price of oil.

The biggest FTSE 100 risers were Anglo American up 31.5p to 617.3p, Randgold Resources ahead 205p to 6095p, Mondi 39p higher at 1349p and BHP Billiton 21.7p stronger at 836.7p

The biggest FTSE 100 fallers were Inmarsat off 21.5p to 801p, Land Securities down 28p to 1151p, British Land 14.5p lower at 722.5p and Provident Financial 48p weaker at 2782p.