FTSE 100 soars to new high as oil price rises

The FTSE 100 rose to a new six-month high on Tuesday, as it was boosted by rising oil prices.

The London index climbed northwards, rising 62.2 points to 7,523.07, ahead of its European peers on a quiet day for corporate news.

The DAX and CAC 40 improved in the afternoon’s trading to finish higher for the day. The Dax closed 0.11% higher, while CAC was up 0.2%.

David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “The DAX and CAC 40 were previously in the red, and they have turned positive on the day, as the feel-good factor has spread across Europe.

“The rally in global stocks is showing no signs of slowing down, and lately, no news has been deemed to be good news.”

Sterling dropped off in the afternoon as the US dollar strengthened, leaving it 0.36% down against the dollar at 1.294 and 0.14% up against the euro at 1.154.

Fiona Cincotta, City Index senior market analyst, said: “The pound’s ability to remain above this key level depends on Theresa May’s ability to keep hold of the Brexit reins.

“Movement in the pound has fluctuated with Theresa May’s fortunes and the chances of a chaotic no deal Brexit. Sentiment has improved slightly over the last few months as Britain moves further away from a no deal Brexit.”

In company news, Barclays slumped in value after an influential shareholder advisory group called on investors to vote down pay plans for top bosses after “inadequate” measures to dock chief executive Jes Staley’s pay following the whistleblowing scandal. It closed down 2.8p, at 166.6p.

Thomas Cook shares surged following reports that a number of potential suitors are eyeing a takeover of the company.

Several potential bidders have been circling the package holiday provider regarding a takeover of its tour operating unit and the entire company, according to Sky News. Shares rose 4.5p to 29p.

Property giant British Land slipped after it offloaded 12 Sainsbury’s superstores from its joint venture with the supermarket under plans to slash its exposure to the troubled retail sector. It closed down 3p to 592.6p.

Angling Direct jumped in value after it hailed a record start to the year. The retailer said like-for-like store sales were up by 29.5% in February and March while overall sales were up 28.5% compared with the previous year. It closed 5.5p up at 73p.

Shares in Scottish broadcaster STV slid after shareholders registered their disapproval at chief executive Simon Pitts’ generous pay packet, dealing the Scottish broadcaster an embarrassing blow at its AGM.

A total of 29.5% of investors voted down the firm’s remuneration report, which included a £645,000 “golden hello” awarded to Mr Pitts. It fell 7.5p to 375p.

The price of a barrel of Brent crude rose 0.3% to 74.46 US dollars.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were NMC Health, up 103p at 2,591p, Auto Trader Group, up 16.8p at 561.5p, Hikma Pharmaceuticals, up 47p at 1,705p, and Pearson, up 23.8p at 867.2p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were EasyJet, down 47p at 1,171p, Antofagasta, down 34.2p at 974.5p, International Consolidated Airlines, down 18.2p at 541.2p and Fresnillo, down 18.4p at 761.1p.