Shares in oil giant BP shot higher this morning, lifting the wider market, after the group pleased investors by raising its dividend.
The group announced forecast beating profits of $3.7bn for the third quarter, well ahead of the $3.2bn expected, while crucially it also upped its dividend by 5.6%.
With investors keen to see big oil groups returning higher dividends rather than investing for growth in the current environment, the group was rewarded handsomely by the markets, with shares up 4.7% at 473.6p by late morning.
BP, alongside financials such as Standard Life and Aviva, up 2.3% and 1.2%, respectively, lifted the FTSE 100 index by 0.6% to stand at 6,764 just before midday.
However, it was not all good news for financials, as the banking results season kicked-off with some disappointing figures from Lloyds.
Shares in the group fell this morning after the bank's results revealed it continues to suffer from ongoing PPI claims.
Its statutory pre-tax profit reached £1.7bn, compared to a loss of £607m for the first three quarters of last year.
However, the figure included another £750m compensation charge for legacy payment protection insurance (PPI) sales, with total PPI claims coming up to more than £8bn.
Investors took profits on the news, sending the share price tumbling down as low as 76.4p in early trading, before it recovered some ground to trade at 78.2p, 1.7% down on the day.
Royal Bank of Scotland was another banking stock among the losers in the FTSE 100 this morning, down 2.2% to 360.5p, as the decision over splitting off the ‘bad bank' part of the business looms.
An added tier of asset management can of course deliver additional benefits for certain investors, writes Graham Bentley - just be sure you can justify it to the regulator and, especially, the client
The government is "in daily contact" with industry figures over the pensions dashboard as it prepares for the roll-out and its feasibility report, Guy Opperman has said.
Organisation led by Johnny Timpson
From 1 April 2019
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