THE winners and losers from a lower oil price littered the FTSE 100 risers’ and fallers’ boards but left the index largely unchanged.
Oil firms saw their share price clobbered by Opec’s decision to keep up current production levels and ride out the recent drop in crude, but the airlines were flying high at the prospect of cheaper fuel running into next year.
Tony Cross, market analyst at Trustnet Direct, said: “The vast majority of FTSE 100 stocks may be trading in positive territory, but unfortunately it’s many of the heaviest weighted components who are populating the lower end of the table.”
Exploration firm Tullow Oil headed the fallers’ board with a drop of 7 per cent, or 36.1p, to 464.9p. Oilfield services firm Petrofac, which issued a profits warning on Monday that knocked a quarter off its value, came under further pressure as its shares slipped by another 6 per cent, or 56p, to 843.5p.
BP was down 11.7p to 426.2p, Royal Dutch Shell lost 101p to 2,265.5p and BG Group dipped 62.8p to 986.7p.
But travel stocks were cheered by the oil price fall, with EasyJet up 6 per cent, or 88p, to 1,633p and British Airways owner International Airlines Group ahead 21p to 457.8p.
All that left the FTSE 100 relatively unchanged, down just 5.75 points at 6,723.42.
Elsewhere, there was further pressure on the grocery sector as Sainsbury’s was hit by a broker downgrade.
Analysts at Shore Capital said the supermarket chain was set for a period of sustained earnings-per-share decline as it pours money into staying competitive in the embattled sector. Shares fell 5.1p to 233.9p.
Rival Tesco slid 1.6p to 185.6p while Morrisons dipped 2.9p to 178p at the prospect of their margin crunching price war continuing.