Oil majors give FTSE 100 a boost, Next shines
* FTSE 100 up 0.7 pct
* Oil stocks climb as crude hits 4-yr high
* Next rises 7.7 pct after raising profit outlook
* Glencore gains on new $1 billion share buyback
* CMC Markets sinks 10.9 pct on income warning
(Adds closing prices)
By Helen Reid
LONDON, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Britain's top share index edged
up on Tuesday thanks to a surge in oil majors as crude prices
hit a four-year high, while retailer Next stole the spotlight
after a strong update confounded expectations.
The FTSE 100 ended up 0.66 percent, with energy stocks and
miners contributing the most to the rise.
Next shares jumped 7.7 percent to the top of the
FTSE 100 after it raised its full-year profit forecast and
struck an optimistic tone on a no-deal Brexit, saying it is well
prepared for the eventuality.
"It is still too early to measure whether Next is gaining
share as a result of retrenchment by other mid-market apparel
retailers, although we expect this to be a growing feature in
the medium term," said UBS analysts.
Heavyweight oil majors Royal Dutch Shell and BP
delivered the lion's share of gains.
They rose as crude prices hit a four-year high amid looming
U.S. sanctions against Iran and an apparent reluctance by OPEC
and Russia to raise output to offset the expected hit to supply.
Glencore shares rose 3.5 percent after the miner
launched an additional $1 billion share buyback, increasing the
size of an existing buyback programme.
Overall investors were sanguine, saying strong earnings were
supporting markets globally.
"At the end of the day what you need is earnings growth as
the driver of market returns," said Mark Hargraves, head of
global strategies at AXA Investment Managers.
"What you would really need in order to dislocate things
would be earnings to come down by 20 or 25 percent, and for that
you need the economy to hit a proper speedbump. There doesn't
seem to be any reason to see that right now."
There were some sharp moves in the mid and small-cap space.
Shares in Thomas Cook bounced back, up 6.8 percent,
having fallen as much as 23 percent on Monday after a profit
Among small-caps, CMC Markets shares fell sharply,
down 10.9 percent, after the spreadbetting group said low market
volatility and regulatory constraints had weighed on client
trading activity, reducing its 2019 income more than previously
Morgan Stanley analysts said they expected a more than 20
percent downgrade to consensus 2019 profit.
"Beyond full-year 2019, the lower start point and regulatory
uncertainty we expect will drive further downgrades and
caution," they wrote.
Low & Bonar shares sank 19.5 percent after the
construction materials maker warned on profit.
Hotel Chocolat shares climbed 1.8 percent after the
chocolate retailer reported a stronger annual profit and said it
was looking to expand into new markets.
(Reporting by Helen Reid, Editing by Louise Heavens and Richard
First Published: 2018-09-25 10:45:39
Updated 2018-09-25 18:02:44
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