THURSDAY MARKET CLOSE: FTSE adds 2% as crude prices stabilise

The price of a barrel of Brent crude slipped back from 63 dollars to around 60. Picture: Getty
The price of a barrel of Brent crude slipped back from 63 dollars to around 60. Picture: Getty
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The Footsie enjoyed a triple-digit points gain as dovish talk from the Federal Reserve coincided with a bounce in oil prices.

The outcome of the latest Fed meeting helped reassure traders following a turbulent period, lifting the FTSE 100 Index by 2 per cent, or 129.52 points, to 6,466.

Jasper Lawler, market analyst at CMC, said: “Despite what was quickly becoming a currency crisis in Russia, markets in Europe have come out relatively unscathed. The Federal Reserve’s unchanged economic outlook despite improving economic data has accelerated gains.”

Market confidence was also boosted by some signs of stabilisation in the Russian rouble and oil, though the price of a barrel of Brent crude slipped back from an intra-day high of more than $63 to around $60. BP was ahead 5p at 402.55p and Shell added 10.5p at 2,105p.

Some of the smaller operators, which have been worst hit by the recent oil price slide, showed a strong bounce as prices stabilised. North Sea operator Enquest added almost 9 per cent to 38.75p.

Financial stocks were also boosted, with Old Mutual and Aberdeen Asset Management both up more than 5 per cent, at 189.9p and 431.4p respectively.

British Airways owner IAG was also flying high as it disclosed that it had made an approach to buy Ireland’s Aer Lingus, but has been rebuffed. IAG shares climbed 4 per cent, or 19.9p, to 463.5p.

Semi-conductor firm ARM Holdings was one of those to benefit from the Wall Street rally as the designer of technology used in Apple products improved by 5 per cent or 45.5p to 975.5p after a strong session for Nasdaq-listed stocks.

Other big risers – on a day when only four top-flight stocks fell – included hotel operator InterContinental Hotels amid speculation that it could be a £7 billion takeover target. Shares rose 89p to 2,574p.