TUESDAY MARKET CLOSE: BP powers FTSE rally

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The FTSE 100 built on its five-month high as better-than-expected corporate profits combined with figures from the US which favoured easy monetary policy.

The index rallied 48.91 points to close at 6,774.73, despite weakness among the banking stocks.

Brenda Kelly, senior market strategist at IG, said: “The bullish sentiment, aided and abetted by poor US data, indicates that traders are kicking any notion that the US Federal Reserve will taper into the long grass for now.”

BP’s stock closed at a five-month high after the oil giant promised shareholders most of the proceeds from a major asset sell-off. The company’s shares rose more than 5 per cent, up 25.4p to 477.5p, as it also posted a smaller-than-expected decline in third-quarter profits. The news boosted other oil stocks, with rival Royal Dutch Shell up 24.5p to 2,264.5p ahead of its own quarterly figures.

House builders are also making good gains after mortgage approvals data for September showed lending continued to improve. Persimmon was ahead 31p at 1,255p, while in the second tier Barratt climbed 8.2p to 340.5p, Bellway was up 42p at 1,518p, and Taylor Wimpey added 2.4p to 111.5p.

Meanwhile, shares in Lloyds Banking Group suffered a jolt after it increased the money set aside for PPI, forcing it to a statutory third-quarter loss despite signs of encouraging underlying trading. The shares fell back 1.6p to 78p.

Other banking stocks were also under pressure earlier in the session after Swiss bank UBS was forced to defer a key earnings target for a year because of the impact of demands for it to hold extra capital. Royal Bank of Scotland dipped 3.7p to 364.8p, but Barclays recovered with a rise of 2.8p to 266.1p.

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