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March 10, 2020, 11:09 a.m. EDT

Oil companies help FTSE 100 claw back some of Monday’s sharp losses

By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch


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Stocks in London rose on Tuesday as global markets tried to claw back some of the worst losses since the Global Financial Crisis in 2008.

The FTSE 100 index (FTSE:UK:UKX)  rose 1.2% to 6,038.30 after a plunge of more than 7% on Monday. U.K. stocks had their worst battering since the financial crisis on Monday, as oil prices crashed in response to a Saudi Arabia-Russia feud over production.

Helping London recover a portion of that lost ground was a more than 7% climb to $33.40 a barrel for crude prices (NYM:CL00)  , which came on the heels of a near 25% loss on Monday. May Brent crude  , the global benchmark, rose 8% to $37.48 a barrel. On Monday, the contract plunged or 24.1%.

Helping drive gains for U.K. and U.S. stocks were hopes for a fiscal response from European and U.S. governments, with President Donald Trump saying the White House and Congress would meet to consider ‘very substantial’ economic relief measures to combat the coronavirus, which may include a payroll tax cut.

Fears that the coronavirus will cut into oil demand have also been upending oil prices, while a deal to cut oil production fell apart over the weekend resulting in the start of a price war between OPEC and Russia.

Shares of BP PLC (NYS:BP)   (LON:UK:BP)  , which tumbled 20% on Monday, rose 1.6%, while Royal Dutch Shell Group PLC (NYS:RDS.A)   (NYS:RDS.B)   (LON:UK:RDSA)   (LON:UK:RDSB)  rallied 3%.

Miners and banks also pitched in with gains, with Rio Tinto PLC (LON:UK:RIO)   (NYS:RIO)  up nearly 4%, alongside Lloyds Banking Group PLC (LON:UK:LLOY)   (NYS:LYG)  .

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