WEDNESDAY MARKET CLOSE: FTSE scrapes out modest gain as oil bounces

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London’s benchmark share index held on to the strong gains seen in the previous session as a bullish start for Wall Street and an oil price bounce helped blue-chip shares recover from earlier turbulence.

A volatile session on Tuesday hit by jitters over the price of oil and the slide in value of the Russian rouble had seen the FTSE 100 close up alomst 150 points.

The latest session saw it earlier fall by nearly 100 points but recover to close a modest 4.65 points ahead at 6,336.48. Oil climbed back above the $60 mark for a barrel of Brent crude.

Chris Beauchamp, market analyst at IG, said: “We have seen further attempts to push indices down but end-of-year buyers appear to be returning in force.”

Global uncertainty still left shares in British Airways-owner International Airlines Group down by 4 per cent, or 18.6p to 443.6p, while British American Tobacco was off 52.5p to 3,365p.

Oil stocks led the way in the top flight as Brent crude recovered, with exploration firm Tullow Oil up 4 per cent, or 13.7p, to 395.1p, heavyweight BP up 13.6p to 397.6p and Royal Dutch Shell ahead 61.5p to 2,155.5p.

Dixons Carphone also performed strongly fter the retailer reported a 30 per cent jump in half-year profits in the first set of results since its creation in a summer merger.

With the integration of Carphone Warehouse and the business of PC World and Currys running a year ahead of schedule, shares jumped 3 per cent or 13p to 439.7p.

Shares in Irish oil and gas explorer Petroceltic, which bought Edinburgh-based Melrose Resources in 2013, rose despite an escalation in the war of words with major shareholder Worldview Capital Management.

Worldview demanded an investigation into management share awards at Petroceltic which it described as “rewards for failure”. Shares rose by 13.25p, or 10.9 per cent, to close at 135p.