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June 19, 2020, 9:24 a.m. EDT

London stocks climb, lifted by gains for oil stocks

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By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch


Reuters
The logo of Royal Dutch Shell at a petrol station in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, Belgium, on April 4, 2016.

London stocks were set to end the week on a high note on Friday, as appetite for risk among investors helped boost global equities and oil prices, which in turn triggered gains for heavily-weighed energy companies.

The FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +1.62%  surged 1.5% to 6,319.78, with the index set to gain 3.5% for the week after a 5.8% plunge in the prior five-day period. The pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD -0.3016%  dropped 0.3% to $1.2386.

London stocks tracked gains that drove Dow futures higher by over 300 points and the Stoxx Europe 600 index by 1%, and U.S. /zigman2/quotes/211629951/delayed CL.1 -1.50%  and Brent crude pricesby 3% and 2.6%, respectively.

Equities and oil rallied after Bloomberg reported that China will increase its buying of U.S. soybeans, corn and ethanol in line with a phase-one trade deal, which got delayed by the pandemic. That comes after talks between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and China’s top foreign policy official in Hawaii this week.

President Donald Trump on Thursday said in a tweet that the U.S. could completely decouple from China, a day after his top trade adviser said such a move wouldn’t be a reasonable policy.

Also helping oil was optimism over the outcome of a Thursday meeting of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries members and allies about adherence to a global production cut pact. BP /zigman2/quotes/207305210/composite BP +0.70%   /zigman2/quotes/202286639/delayed UK:BP +1.99%  and Royal Dutch Shell Group /zigman2/quotes/205095589/composite RDS.A -0.05%   /zigman2/quotes/206428183/delayed UK:RDSA +1.51%  rose 0.9% each.

Investors overlooked some bleak data showing that the U.K. public debt shot past gross domestic product for the first time since the early 1960s, noted Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, in a note to clients.

“Although it is very cheap for the Government to borrow right now, the news highlights the challenge it will face in maintaining spending to support businesses and the public at a time of acute need while also making some attempt at balancing the books,” he said.

Heavily weighted HSBC /zigman2/quotes/208272822/composite HSBC -1.14%  gained nearly 2%, while elsewhere drinks maker Diageo /zigman2/quotes/205449809/delayed UK:ULVR +1.10% /zigman2/quotes/205611832/delayed UK:DGE +2.19%  jumped 2% and consumer products giant Unilever  rose 1.4%.

Better news came from retail sales and consumer confidence data, which both showed improvement in May.

/zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed
UK : FTSE UK
6,588.53
+105.10 +1.62%
Volume: 692,321
March 1, 2021 4:53p
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/zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
1.3883
-0.0042 -0.3016%
Volume: 0.0000
March 2, 2021 12:59a
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/zigman2/quotes/211629951/delayed
US : U.S.: Nymex
$ 59.73
-0.91 -1.50%
Volume: 47,057
March 2, 2021 12:49a
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207305210/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 24.58
+0.17 +0.70%
Volume: 12.17M
March 1, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
6.33%
Market Cap
$82.34 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202286639/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
297.55 p
+5.80 +1.99%
Volume: 39.30M
March 1, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
5.06%
Market Cap
£58.89 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205095589/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 41.01
-0.02 -0.05%
Volume: 4.97M
March 1, 2021 7:02p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
2.71%
Market Cap
$154.27 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206428183/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
£ 1,466.60
+21.80 +1.51%
Volume: 7.17M
March 1, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.03%
Market Cap
£110.34 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208272822/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 29.37
-0.34 -1.14%
Volume: 2.24M
March 1, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
30.22
Dividend Yield
2.54%
Market Cap
$121.37 billion
Rev. per Employee
$333,047
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205449809/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
3,774.00 p
+41.00 +1.10%
Volume: 4.69M
March 1, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
20.08
Dividend Yield
3.93%
Market Cap
£97.99 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205611832/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
2,874.00 p
+61.50 +2.19%
Volume: 2.49M
March 1, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
59.99
Dividend Yield
2.45%
Market Cap
£65.75 billion
Rev. per Employee
£422,916
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Barbara Kollmeyer is an editor for MarketWatch in Madrid. Follow her on Twitter @bkollmeyer.

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