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FTSE 100 makes early gains following attack on oil facility in Saudi Arabia

Following an early rise to 6,673.21, the FTSE 100 retreate below Friday’s close to 6,626.95, down 0.0.54%. The index has so far been propped up by oil prices following an attack on a facility in Saudi Arabia.

“The FTSE 100 made a solid start to the week underpinned by renewed gains for oil off the back of attacks on facilities in Saudi Arabia over the weekend,” said AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.

“This lifted index heavyweights BP and Royal Dutch Shell as the black stuff traded above $70 per barrel for the first time since January 2020 when tensions between Iran and the US were rapidly escalating.”

“The only problem is the rise in oil will only add to the key concern which is dogging markets – namely the risk of runaway inflation and a resulting increase in interest rates,” said Mould.

“The other key driver for positive sentiment this morning is also a double-edged sword with the news that the US has signed off its long-awaited $1.9 trillion stimulus package. This is also seen as a major catalyst for rising prices,” Mould said.

FTSE 100 Top Movers

Pearson (3.32%), Lloyds (2.64%) and Pershing Square Holdings (2.47%) are Monday’s top movers on the FTSE 100 so far.

London Stock Exchange Group (-5.15%), Ocado Group (-4.24%) and BT Group (-3.59%) are the day’s biggest fallers.

Phoenix Group

Phoenix Group reported a substantial increase in operating profit for 2020, and said it is in a strong position to leverage the key industry drivers of growth. 

The FTSE 100 company confirmed an operating profit of £1.2bn, up from £810m the year before.

Pearson

Pearson confirmed on Monday that it will maintain its dividend for the year as the education company expects a recovery after its sales took a hit during the pandemic. 

The FTSE 100 firm has proposed a final dividend of 13.5p per share. This brings the full-year figure to 19.5p, in line with 2019.