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May 9, 2018, 12:26 p.m. EDT · CORRECTED

FTSE 100 jumps to 3-month high, as oil rally buoys BP and Shell

Vodafone strikes nearly $23 billion deal with Liberty Global

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By Carla Mozee and Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch

A previous version of this story gave incorrect historic data for the FTSE 100. The story has been corrected.


AFP/Getty Images
Vodafone shares are higher in Wednesday’s trade.

London’s benchmark for blue-chip stocks pushed higher Wednesday, buoyed largely by shares of oil producers, which rose as crude prices rallied in the wake of the U.S. decision to resume sanctions on Iran.

Meanwhile, shares of Vodafone PLC popped higher on confirmation that the British telecommunications company has agreed a nearly $23 billion deal to buy some European assets from Liberty Global PLC.

How markets are moving

The FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -2.29%  climbed 1.3% to end at 7,662.52, closing at its highest level since Jan. 29, according to FactSet data.

The pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD -0.1053%  rose to $1.3569 from $1.3546 late Tuesday in New York, as traders looked head to the Bank of England meeting on Thursday.

Read: The pound at $1.3850 or $1.3350? It all rests on the BOE’s ‘Super Thursday’, ING says

What’s driving markets

The FTSE 100 was outperforming most of its counterparts in Europe /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -1.44%  as shares of BP PLC and Royal Dutch Shell PLC scaled toward the top of the index. The oil-and-gas sector has a weighting of nearly 17% on the FTSE 100, the second-largest sector after financials, according to FactSet data.

Shares of oil producers rose as U.S. crude  and Brent prices jumped almost 3% on Wednesday, bringing West Texas Intermediate above $71 a barrel and to highs not seen in more than three years.

Oil prices, which have been swinging in recent sessions, initially dipped but eventually advanced after U.S. President Donald Trump late Tuesday said he would impose “powerful” new sanctions on Iran as the U.S. withdraws from the Iran nuclear deal.

The reinstatement of Iranian sanctions could result in tighter global oil supplies, because they make it more difficult for Iran to export oil, according to some analysts.

Read: U.S. out of Iran deal — Boeing will lose out on $20 billion in business

In Brexit news, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May suffered another blow to her divorce plans after the House of Lords in a vote late on Tuesday backed calls for Britain to remain in the single market after the EU exit.

Click to Play

Will Trump's Iran Bet Pay Off?

After President Donald Trump's big gamble to pull the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal, the focus now shifts to Tehran, the Iranian people and America's allies. Gerald F. Seib explains the high stakes. Photo: Getty

What are strategists saying?

“In contrast to yesterday the FTSE 100 has soared today, boosted by the energy firms on expectations that higher oil prices will result from the Iran deal,” said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, in a note.

“It may not be quite as clear-cut as that, at least not in the short term, since oil’s remarkable run has now reached the stage where it is being talked about outside of financial markets. This is usually a sign that the rally has at least peaked for the time being,” he added.

Stock movers

BP PLC   /zigman2/quotes/207305210/composite BP -0.52%  gained 3.9%, and Royal Dutch Shell PLC /zigman2/quotes/204253697/delayed UK:RDSB -3.04%   /zigman2/quotes/207682964/composite RDS.B -1.52%  bulked up 3.4% as oil prices jumped.

Imperial Brands PLC /zigman2/quotes/208789104/delayed UK:IMB -2.53%   /zigman2/quotes/206232937/delayed IMBBY -1.00%  jumped 6.2% to the top of the FTSE 100 after the tobacco company laid out plans to sell assets to raise around 2 billion pounds ($2.7 billion) in the next year or two.

Burberry Group PLC shares /zigman2/quotes/205386705/delayed UK:BRBY -5.56%   /zigman2/quotes/203108786/delayed BURBY -5.12%  tumbled 6.1% after Belgian holding company Groupe Bruxelles Lambert /zigman2/quotes/206932604/delayed BE:GBLB -1.30% said it has sold a 6.6% stake in the British luxury goods maker.

Vodafone /zigman2/quotes/202484985/delayed UK:VOD -0.83% /zigman2/quotes/202862751/composite VOD +0.06% ended 0.6% higher after the company agreed to buy operations in Germany, Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic from Denver-based cable giant Liberty Global PLC /zigman2/quotes/205000522/composite LBTYA +0.57% . The deal, valued at €19 billion ($23 billion), doesn’t include Liberty businesses in the U.K. and Ireland, which compete with Vodafone’s.

Compass Group PLC /zigman2/quotes/200043088/delayed UK:CPG -7.46% dropped 4.8% as the food services company posted a fall in first-half 2018 pretax profit to £792 million ($1.07 billion), which is said was partly due to foreign exchange effects.

/zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed
UK : FTSE UK
6,076.60
-142.19 -2.29%
Volume: 2.19M
May 29, 2020 4:59p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
1.2336
-0.0013 -0.1053%
Volume: 0.0000
May 31, 2020 6:01p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed
XX : STOXX
350.36
-5.11 -1.44%
Volume: 0.00
May 29, 2020 5:50p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207305210/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 23.14
-0.12 -0.52%
Volume: 10.21M
May 29, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
19.35
Dividend Yield
10.80%
Market Cap
$77.51 billion
Rev. per Employee
$4.03M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204253697/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
1,226.00 p
-38.40 -3.04%
Volume: 12.05M
May 29, 2020 4:35p
P/E Ratio
12.65
Dividend Yield
4.22%
Market Cap
£95.43 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207682964/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 30.44
-0.47 -1.52%
Volume: 5.04M
May 29, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
12.58
Dividend Yield
4.20%
Market Cap
$56.31 billion
Rev. per Employee
$4.75M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208789104/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
1,466.50 p
-38.00 -2.53%
Volume: 3.94M
May 29, 2020 4:35p
P/E Ratio
16.25
Dividend Yield
12.66%
Market Cap
£13.88 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206232937/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 18.26
-0.19 -1.00%
Volume: 480,200
May 29, 2020 3:59p
P/E Ratio
15.89
Dividend Yield
13.49%
Market Cap
$17.16 billion
Rev. per Employee
$621,563
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205386705/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
1,495.50 p
-88.00 -5.56%
Volume: 2.79M
May 29, 2020 4:35p
P/E Ratio
50.49
Dividend Yield
0.76%
Market Cap
£6.03 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203108786/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 18.73
-1.01 -5.12%
Volume: 43,220
May 29, 2020 3:57p
P/E Ratio
50.49
Dividend Yield
2.66%
Market Cap
$7.46 billion
Rev. per Employee
$347,421
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206932604/delayed
BE : Belgium: Euronext Brussels
72.72
-0.96 -1.30%
Volume: 426,615
May 29, 2020 5:35p
P/E Ratio
16.23
Dividend Yield
3.03%
Market Cap
€11.35 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202484985/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
133.02 p
-1.12 -0.83%
Volume: 93.43M
May 29, 2020 4:35p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
6.09%
Market Cap
£35.61 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202862751/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 16.51
+0.01 +0.06%
Volume: 3.37M
May 29, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
5.80%
Market Cap
$44.20 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205000522/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 21.24
+0.12 +0.57%
Volume: 2.42M
May 29, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
167.64
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$12.88 billion
Rev. per Employee
$449,545
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200043088/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
1,184.00 p
-95.50 -7.46%
Volume: 17.60M
May 29, 2020 4:35p
P/E Ratio
18.24
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
£21.12 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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Carla Mozée is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in London. Follow her on Twitter @MWMozee. Sara Sjolin is a MarketWatch reporter based in London. Follow her on Twitter @sarasjolin.

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