GKN slumps after CEO designate ousted
U.K. stocks rose for the first time in six sessions on Thursday, boosted by a rebound in oil prices and taking inspiration from an upbeat day in Asia.
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On the economic docket, U.K. retail sales are the highlight for the day when they come out at 9:30 a.m. London time, or 4:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
What markets are doing: The FTSE 100 index was slightly higher at 7,374.91, after ending at its lowest level since Sept. 28 on Wednesday following five straight sessions of losses.
The pound bought $1.3163, down from $1.3170 late Wednesday in New York.
What's driving the markets: A slight recovery in oil prices on Thursday was well-received and helped lift the FTSE's energy companies. Crude oil rose 0.2% to $55.43 a barrel, after settling at its lowest level in almost two weeks on Wednesday after data showed a surprise jump in U.S. stockpiles.
Shares of BP PLC (BP.LN) (BP.LN) rose 0.8%, and Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN) (RDSB.LN) climbed 0.6%.
Traders were also encouraged by a positive trading day in Asia (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tencent-earnings-buoy-hong-kong-index-nikkei-looks-to-snap-loss-streak-2017-11-15), where Japan's Nikkei snapped a six-session losing streak.
What strategists are saying: The positive start is "helped by fresh gains in Asia, shrugging off several days of losses that potentially puts an end to a commodity sector inspired selloff, giving bulls some hope of a turnaround. Sentiment has been helped by oil finding support, offering respite to the key energy sector, with further help at hand from sector M&A talk Downunder," said analysts at Accendo Markets in a note.
Stock movers: Shares of 3i Group PLC (III.LN) rose 3.3% after the international investment manager it is on track to deliver another strong year of growth in its private-equity portfolio.
British Land Co. PLC (BLND.LN) added 1.7% after the real-estate company said it swung to a first-half profit.
On a downbeat note, shares of GKN PLC (GKN.LN) slid 7.5% after the engineering group ousted its CEO designate Kevin Cummings amid problems at the aerospace unit he ran.
Prudential PLC (PRU.LN) slipped 0.4% even as the insurer said it continues to benefit from powerful demand drivers (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/prudential-new-business-profit-rises-17-2017-11-16) and its established platforms in Asia, the U.S., and the U.K. and Europe.
Outside the FTSE 100, Royal Mail PLC (RMG.LN) inched 0.3% higher after revenue rose in the first half (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/royal-mail-profit-down-warns-on-letter-volume-2017-11-16).
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 16, 2017 04:04 ET (09:04 GMT)