FTSE 100 enjoys four-day winning streak as oil companies gain
Britain's blue-chip index edged higher on Tuesday as oil majors gained and sterling lost ground on mounting concerns of a no-deal Brexit, boosting exporters.
The FTSE 100 rose 0.4 percent, its fourth consecutive session of gains, and midcaps also added 0.3 percent by 0720 GMT, with Wizz Air jumping on an upbeat earnings forecast.
Shell (LON:RDSa) and BP (LON:BP) provided the biggest boost to the main exchange with crude prices rising as upbeat data from China eased demand concerns and the possibility of more sanctions on Iran and more supply disruptions in Venezuela also lent support. The terms of Britain's departure from the European Union remained deadlocked as parliament failed to reach a consensus on any alternative to Prime Minister Theresa May's exit deal. The pound weakened as the default was that the UK would fall out of the EU without a deal in only 10 days. That lifted the more-internationally exposed components on the FTSE 100, which earn a big chunk in the U.S. currency. HSBC, Diageo (LON:DGE), the world's largest spirits company, and Unilever (LON:ULVR) all rose.
But Rolls-Royce (LON:RR) slid nearly 2 percent on news that Singapore Airlines had grounded two Boeing (NYSE:BA) 787-10 jets fitted with Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 TEN engines after checks found premature blade deterioration. Sainsbury's dipped by 1 percent after industry data showed that it lost its status as Britain's No. 2 supermarket group by market share to takeover target Asda for the first time in four years. News-related moves were scarce on the FTSE 250. A notable gainer was low-cost airline Wizz Air that jumped nearly 6 percent after saying annual profit would be in the upper half of a range that it previously forecast, thanks to demand in central and eastern European markets.