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Ftse rises on shell’s bumper profit, shareholder plans

written by Bella Palmer

The blue-chip FTSE 100 rose 0.3% to hold at a three-week high, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 slipped 0.1%

UK's export-oriented FTSE rose on Thursday as oil major Shell announced a bumper profit and plans to boost shareholder returns, helping offset broader concerns around high inflation and a possible recession.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 rose 0.3% to hold at a three-week high, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 slipped 0.1%.

Shell jumped 5.5% after the refiner reported a slightly better-than-expected quarterly profit of $9.45 billion and said it would sharply boost its dividend by year-end. The UK's energy sector climbed 4.7%.

There is a slight bias where earnings estimates had been set quite low on prospects of a recession and supply constraints, market analyst Daniela Hathorn said, referring to UK companies in general. So, any beat of those expectations is taken as a sign of good times.

The UK's financial markets have recovered over the past few days after taking a beating earlier this month on worries about unfunded tax cuts that Liz Truss's government proposed

Britain's new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday delayed until Nov. 17 the announcement of a keenly awaited plan for repairing the country's public finances. Investors are now betting that the Bank of England will raise its benchmark rate by a full percentage point on Nov. 3.

With the change of government, there is a little bit more security that we won't see any crazy fiscal spending like we did see under Truss, said Hathorn.

Miners were among the biggest decliners, dragged by a 2.9% slide in Anglo American after a drop in quarterly copper production offset a ramp-up in coal operations and a strong performance at its De Beers diamond unit. The sector was down 3.2%.


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