LONDON (MarketWatch) — Oil stocks in London sold off Thursday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries decided not to cut its oil-production target.
The FTSE’s oil and gas group slid 3.9% after OPEC said the 12-country cartel will stick with its current production target of 30 million barrels a day. Leading up to the meeting in Vienna, there was speculation in the markets that the organization would bring in a reduction, in an effort to stop a recent drop in global oil prices.
The decision to keep the target was made “in the interest of restoring market equilibrium,” said OPEC in a statement.
Shares of Tullow Oil PLC /zigman2/quotes/205079109/delayed UK:TLW +8.54% tumbled 7.2% and those of Petrofac Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/202340229/delayed UK:PFC -0.42% dropped 6.2%. BG Group PLC sloughed off 5.9%. Also, Royal Dutch Shell PLC /zigman2/quotes/204253697/delayed UK:RDSB +1.48% /zigman2/quotes/207682964/lastsale RDS.B -0.57% fell 4.3%, and BP PLC /zigman2/quotes/207305210/lastsale BP -1.93% declined 2.7%.
The FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +2.90% fell 0.1% to 6,723.42, with the loss limited in part by gains in shares of travel companies, which can be sensitive to oil prices. EasyJet PLC /zigman2/quotes/202825892/delayed UK:EZJ +5.45% shares flew up 5.8% despite a ratings downgrade at RBC Capital Markets Thursday, to sector perform from outperform. British Airways’s parent International Consolidated Airlines Group /zigman2/quotes/208070069/delayed UK:IAG -1.24% rallied 4.9%, and TUI Travel PLC tacked on 3.9%.
Also higher were shares of Barclays PLC /zigman2/quotes/208409333/delayed UK:BARC +5.32% /zigman2/quotes/206581728/lastsale BCS +6.78% , rising 2.5% after Goldman Sachs lifted its rating on the bank to buy from neutral.
Outside the main benchmark, Stagecoach Group PLC /zigman2/quotes/206082799/delayed UK:SGC +14.21% jumped 8.2% after the transportation operator, in collaboration with Virgin, won the franchise to run the East Coast rail route.
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Will you be in London on Dec. 3? Then you’re invited to our MarketWatch Investing Insights event, “The worse Europe gets, the more you should invest.”
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This event is free, but RSVPs are required. It will be held Wednesday evening, Dec. 3, in London. For more information or to RSVP, send an email to email@example.com.