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Footsie finishes 1.38% ahead as crude gains

Britain's blue chip index took the scenic route to finish pretty much where it started - up 83 points to 6,096
Britain's blue chip index added 1.38% at the close...

Britain's blue chip index took the scenic route to finish pretty much where it started - up around 83 points at 6,096.

A big rise in the oil price for Brent crude helped cheer the mood, as did fashion house Burberry (LON:BRBY), which jumped 7.54% to 430p. 

It came as the group was upgraded to ‘buy’ from ‘neutral’ by Japanese broker Nomura, which looks ahead to potential catalysts coming from the clothes designer’s business review.

The biggest gainer however was commoditie sgiant Glencore (LON:GLEN) after a late surge, which finished almost 8% up, at 128,25p.

In macro matters, UK consumer confidence fell this month to its lowest level since December 2014 amid economic concerns, a new official report showed.

Chris Beauchamp, at spreadbetter IG, described market sentiment at the moment thus: "Absent a sudden and stomach-churning crash on Monday, February looks to be going out with a definite bang.

"In the UK and Europe markets are storming higher, and while things are quieter so far on Wall Street it too is looking set to finish the month on a high. Worries about global growth, China, banks and US rates, which seemed so insurmountable a couple of weeks ago are now just a distant memory despite unveiling a further decline in sales.".

The biggest laggard on footsie was RBS (LON:RBS), which surprised no-one with its eighth consecutive annual loss.

And the bank, owned by UK taxpayers, warned to expect another £1bn of costs in the current year. Shares finished 7.13% lower at 226.6p.

Also flying lower on the day was BA owner IAG (LON:IAG), down 3.13% to 541p, as the market failed to cheer its prelims for 2015, which showed  a 51% increase in profit helped by lower fuel prices.

Fuel unit costs for the year to end December before exceptionals were down 6.3% and, down 17.2% at constant currency, the group said.

Meanwhile, Sports Direct (LON:SPD) shares dropped as it announced it would shun a credit-line provided by majority shareholder Mike Ashley, who owns 55% of the retail group.

To smaller fry and Patagonia Gold (LON:PGD) added over 11% to 2.5p as it said it expects to start production from its Cap-Oeste prospect in Argentina by the autumn.

On the losing front, oil firm Petroceltic (LON:PCI) lost 41.67% to stand at 10.5p as it emerged largest shareholder Worldview had put in a low-ball takeover offer of £6.4mln.

At just 3p per share the offer is some 83% lower than Petroceltic’s closing price yesterday.

The bid was ‘deeply insulting’ to many of the AIM quoted company’s shareholders, according to City broker Cenkos


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