Oil price rises push FTSE 100 Index to a record high


London's top-flight index pushed to a record high on Monday as commodity stocks enjoyed a boost from the rising oil price.

The FTSE 100 Index reached a mid-session record of 7460.2 in early trading, before closing at an all-time high of 7,454.37.

Oil majors were given a leg-up after energy ministers from Russia and Saudi Arabia took further steps to tackle oversupply in the market by extending production cuts from the middle of 2017 until March next year.

The move caused Brent crude to soar by 2.6% to 52.18 US dollars a barrel, helping energy giants Royal Dutch Shell A and BP climb by 10.5p to 2,204p and 4.2p to 464.2p respectively.

Jasper Lawler, senior market analyst at London Capital Group, said markets in the UK and Germany were also cheering the prospect of their governments winning upcoming elections. 

He said: "Theresa May is going for the jugular and markets like it. Ahead of the official release of the Conservative Party manifesto, the Prime Minister announced plans to expand workers' rights.

"Her high approval rating and vote-winning policies give May an opportunity to take Labour seats sitting on small majorities.

"Investor cheer at a Conservative victory has gotten even louder since Labour's apparent plans for a 'Robin Hood tax' on financial transactions."

Across Europe, Germany's Dax was up 0.3% and the CAC 40 in France rose by 0.1%.

On the currency markets, the pound was making headway against the US dollar after the rallying oil price put a dent in the greenback.

Sterling was 0.2% ahead against the US currency at 1.292, while the pound slipped 0.2% versus the euro at 1.176.

Mr Lawler said the sour relationship between the UK currency and the FTSE 100 Index since the Brexit vote had started to fade.

"The negative correlation between the British pound and the FTSE 100 has broken down," he added.

"If the last two weeks are any guide, investors in UK stocks seem to be looking beyond foreign exchange.

"After consolidating in a 350-point range for most of the year, the FTSE 100 could be setting the stage for another surge higher - 7500 is the next big round number to overcome."