By Barbara Kollmeyer
London stocks rose Tuesday, with utility companies rising as power prices surged again, and major oil companies and banks helping out.
The FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -0.10% rose 0.6% to 7,040.90, following a 0.2% decline on Monday, which was moderate versus deeper losses elsewhere as surging oil prices drove up heavily weighted energy companies. The pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD -0.5261% was steady at $1.3614.
BP /zigman2/quotes/202286639/delayed UK:BP +1.26% /zigman2/quotes/207305210/composite BP -0.55% and Royal Dutch Shell /zigman2/quotes/205095589/composite RDS.A -0.66% /zigman2/quotes/206428183/delayed UK:RDSA +1.11% gained close to 2% each as oil prices extended strong gains from Monday that took U.S. crude /zigman2/quotes/209723049/delayed CL00 -0.42% to a high not seen since 2014 and Brent to a level not seen since 2018. The U.K. has been seeped in an energy and power crisis.
The latest leg has seen panic buying of fuel over the last two weeks, with the army called in to help with deliveries this week as many stations still don’t have fuel.
Natural gas prices were up on the continent and in the U.K., where December futures jumped 20% to 302.86 pence a therm, as governments and companies nervously look toward winter and a dearth of supplies. Utilities such as Severn Trent /zigman2/quotes/207458310/delayed UK:SVT +0.85% and United Utilities /zigman2/quotes/203908003/delayed UK:UU +0.46% rose more than 1% each.
Adding some insult to injury, torrential rains pounded London overnight, triggering flash flooding in parts of the city on Tuesday.
The biggest gainer in the FTSE 100 was sporting-goods retailer JD Sports Fashion /zigman2/quotes/207007202/delayed UK:JD +0.63% , which rose 3%, while real estate website operator Rightmove /zigman2/quotes/201303150/delayed UK:RMV -0.91% and online grocery technology firm Ocado /zigman2/quotes/207225647/delayed UK:OCDO -3.18% were also among the top gainers, up 3% and 2.9%, respectively.
The biggest faller was generics drugmaker Hikma Pharmaceuticals /zigman2/quotes/204872832/delayed UK:HIK -0.27% , which fell 2%.