London markets were boosted by oil companies this afternoon after a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecast rising demand in 2009.
Buoyant oil stocks helped the FTSE100 climb 0.52% higher to 4,389 despite problems for financial services firms.
The IEA's report, coupled with rumours that OPEC might cut oil production by as much as 2 million barrels per day, helped Tullow Oil shares gain 18.5%. Cairn Energy climbed 10.8% to £18.22 per share, while Royal Dutch Shell shares added 2.7%.
Lloyds TSB lost 8.3% despite receiving the go-ahead for a merger with rival HBOS. Insurers Friends Provident and Legal & General lost 8.1% and 5.5% respectively as sterling hit new lows against the Euro.
US shares tumbled as Wall Street opened for business on Thursday as a bailout plan for the car industry went to the Senate.
The Bill has already been accepted by the House of Representatives, but Senators are expected to propose changes to the legislation. The Dow Jones dropped 1.27% to 8,649.
Republican opposition to the plan sent General Motors shares down 12%. The US car giant has warned that it may run out of cash within three weeks. Rival Ford fell 4.6%.
Financial shares took a hit as a report revealed foreclosures had risen 28% in November. Bank of America dropped 6.9%, Citigroup lost 4.7% and JP Morgan Chase shares fell 4.5%.
Contact: John Bakie, Tel: 020 7484 9805, e-mail: [email protected]IFAonline
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