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View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/article/a630308

BP energises FTSE as US markets closed

by Caelainn Barr on Oct 30, 2012 at 16:26

BP energises FTSE as US markets closed

(Update at 16:23) Despite worries about the economic impact of hurricane Sandy, the FTSE 100 extended its morning gains into Tuesday afternoon trade, as bullish investors brushed aside some mixed economic news and focused on strong results from European companies including BP.

In Germany a report showed that unemployment has risen by more than expected, to 6.9%. In Spain, the government confirmed a third consecutive quarter of economic contraction, though the 0.3% decline wasn’t quite as bad as had been forecast.

In the US, where markets remained closed for a second day due to hurricane Sandy, a report on the housing sector came in better than expected.

In the UK, in thin trading BP rose by 4.5% to 444p after raising its dividend and beating profit forecasts, bettered only by a 4.7% gain from Man Group, taking the hedge fund group’s share price to 82p.

The broader London index rose by nearly 0.9% to 5,844.

(09:15) FTSE rises as defensives report strong earnings

Britain’s markets opened ahead as BP (BP.L) and Imperial Tobacco (IMT.L) reported impressive results, spurring the index on. 

The FTSE 100 added 0.58%, or 34 points, to 5,829 and the Mid-250 index inched ahead 0.3%, or 36 points, to 11,956.

BP added 15p, or 3.7%, to 440p to rise to the top of the FTSE 100, as it reported an increase in third-quarter profit and raised its dividend.

The oil company’s net income rose to $5.4 billion (£3.3 billion) from $5 billion (£3.1 billion) in the same period of 2011, and it increased the dividend by 12.5% to 9c (6p) a share.

Imperial Tobacco rose 48p, or 2%, to £23.78 as it announced an 8% rise in annual earnings after strong revenue growth in some of its major products.

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