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FTSE rises despite weight of windfall tax on oil companies

Some firms slid on news of the windfall tax (Jane Barlow/PA)
Some firms slid on news of the windfall tax (Jane Barlow/PA)

Markets ended the week on another high as strong showings for many of London’s financial stocks offset a drop sparked by the new windfall tax.

By the end of the day the index had gained 0.3%, a rise of 20.54 points to 7,585.46.

It is its highest point since the early days of the month, and the index has now gained more than 400 points since its low point on May 12.

“It’s been a decent week of gains for markets in Europe, with the FTSE 100 enjoying a particularly strong performance, on course for its best week in over two months,” said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.

He said shares in some of the country’s biggest retailers had been helped by Thursday’s package of support that will put hundreds of extra pounds in the pockets of households across the country.

“Having had a bit more time to dissect yesterday’s windfall tax announcement from the UK Government, we’ve seen further weakness in the UK oil and gas sector.

“While BP and Shell shares have held up quite well, they are still down today, after BP said it would review all of its investment in the UK and North Sea, which could well lead Shell to do the same thing.”

But it was worse for Harbour Energy, a major producer of oil from the North Sea which only operates in the UK.

Its shares ended at the bottom of the FTSE, down more than 10%. EnQuest and Seriva Energy also slid on the news of the extra 25% tax hit they will be facing.

“We’re also seeing weakness in the UK grid and power suppliers over concerns they could be next in line for some form of levy, with SSE, Centrica and National Grid all falling back for the second day in a row, and down on the week,” Mr Hewson said.

In Europe the Dax index rose 1.6% while the Cac 40 was up 1.7%. On Wall Street the S&P 500 had gained 1.8% and the Dow Jones was up 1.1% shortly after European markets had closed.

The pound was down 0.03% against two major rivals and could buy 1.2611 dollars or 1.1773 euros at the end of the day.

In company news Stagecoach will buy the east London bus business of Kelsian Group for £20 million.

The business said that the deal includes a depot at the Lea Interchange. It will pay £10 million up front and then £1 million per year for a decade after that.

It will mean Stagecoach taking over 11 contracts with Transport for London and the 150 buses it uses. Turnover for the business is around £38 million per year.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, up 49p to 794.8p, Ocado, up 43p to 901.4p, Experian, up 87p to 2,695p, Ashtead, up 104p to 4,120p, and Halma, up 54p to 336.6p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Harbour Energy, down 46.1p to 382.1p, ITV, down 2.8p to 70.64p, Pearson, down 14.8p to 742.8p, Royal Mail, down 6.3p to 321p, and National Grid, down 22.5p to 1,164p.