FTSE 100 rises on positive corporate results and strong commodities

The FTSE 100 gained on Wednesday following a shock to the energy market after Russia suspended its gas flow to Europe through Ukraine earlier today, which saw the price of Brent crude rise to $105 per barrel.

The supply loss sent scarcity fears surging across the market, with Shell shares rising 1.6% to 2,270p and BP shares climbing 2.2% to 414.1p on the back of rising oil prices.

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The Compass Group enjoyed a shares spike of 7.8% to 1,701p, following a revenue surge of 36% to £11.5 billion from £8.4 billion and the announcement of a £500 million share buyback scheme.

“We continue to recover strongly from the pandemic and have achieved the important milestone of revenue exceeding our pre-Covid level on a run rate basis,” said Compass Group CEO Dominic Blakemore.

Analysts noted the positive results from the group, highlighting the company’s streamlined business model’s impact on its success.

“In addition to a £500m buyback and raised revenue guidance the positive news comes in the form of margin guidance, which remains unchanged despite inflationary pressures – that should see the group exit the year with underlying operating margin around 7%,” said Hargreaves Lansdown equity analyst Matt Britzman.

“It’s a nod to the group’s streamlined business in which each additional customer adds more to the bottom line.”

Commodities firms enjoyed a rise in the prices of gold, silver, copper and platinum, which increased 0.7%, 2.4%, 1.8% and 2.2%, respectively.

Rio Tinto shares gained 3.5% to 5,350p and Glencore shares increased 3.3% to 470.5p.

Antofagasta shares rose 3% to 1,400p after the mining group announced the pricing of $500 million in senior unsecured notes due 2032 at 5.6%, which the company confirmed would be used for debt repayment.

The firm said it expected the settlement and issue of the notes to take place on 13 May.

Airtel Africa shares fell 5.9% to 131.8p despite a 20.6% revenue surge and strong growth across all regions.

“We have delivered strong double-digit growth in revenues across all our regions and all our key services, with improving margins driven by strong cost control, and expanding cash generation which is enabling us to continue to invest in our network and services and expand our distribution, as well as strengthening our balance sheet and increasing our returns to shareholders,” said Airtel Africa CEO Segun Ogunsanya.

Ocado Group shares fell 2.1% after Ocado Technology CEO bought 11,063 Ocado Group shares at 9,930p, representing a value of £87,731.

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