By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch
Royal Dutch Shell was the star of a drab U.K. stock market on Monday after the energy giant released its plan to scale back spending.
Shares of Shell /zigman2/quotes/206428183/delayed UK:RDSA +1.51% surged 5% as the energy giant said it would cut up to $4 billion in operating costs in moves that should save it $9 billion of cash before tax. Shell also is suspending its stock buyback program once it completes its current tranche and said the timing of its $10 billion divestment program was up to market conditions.
Kingfisher /zigman2/quotes/200571451/delayed UK:KGF +0.57% was another gainer, as the owner of B&Q said like-for-like sales in February accelerated to 2.3%. Its 221 French and 28 Spanish stores are temporarily closed. In the third week of March, U.K. and Irish like-for-like sales shot up 37.7% while falling 97.2% in France.
U.K. television broadcaster ITV /zigman2/quotes/205378065/delayed UK:ITV +4.42% slumped 11%. It cut its program budget by at least £100 million and suspended its dividend as part of a plan to retain more than £300 million of cash.
The FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/205378065/delayed UK:ITV +4.42% more broadly slumped over 3% and has dropped 33% this year. The U.K. on Friday ordered pubs and restaurants closed as government ministers said more measures may be taken to limit the spread of coronavirus.