Tuesday's most followed, including oil price, Tullow, BP, Aviva, Friends Life and Fastjet


Flood defences, an insurance mega-merger and a bounce in the oil price were news threads on Tuesday.

FTSE100  was up over 69 points, or 1% to 6,726 as oil stocks and resource majors made headway as  Brent crude recovered to US$72 a barrel overnight after slumpijng to a new five year low yesterday 

Tullow (LON:TLW) added nearly 5% today after recent falls and BP (LON:BP.) gained 2.38%. Shell (LON:RDSB) added over 2%.

The big story of the day however was that insurance giant Aviva had agreed to acquire rival Friends Life in an all-share deal worth about about US$8.8bn to create Britain’s largest life insurer.

The £5.6bn deal in sterling still needs shareholder approval.

Aviva (LON:AV.) share added 2.52% and Friends Life (LON:FLG) added 4.92%.

Royal Mail (LON:RMG) was back in the news Tuesday, with shares down 2.44% as regulator Ofcom has ruled the firm’s remit to deliver a universal postal service is not under threat.

The postal group, taken private last year, had complained its competitors were undercutting it by picking more lucrative delivery areas.

Ofcom is to open a broader investigation into Royal Mail’s ability to deliver its universal service, however.

For many at this time of year, and after the chaos of recent years, festive cheer has been replaced with foreboding over the weather - notably flooding, which seems to have become the biggest natural threat to the UK.

News emereed that the Treasury is set to dish out £2.3bn of funding for more than 1,400 flood defence projects.

The cash is to be spent over the next six years to improve protection for about 300,000 homes.

In the junior space, airline Fastjet (LON:FJET)  was gaining traction with its statement today , stating it was already seeing a substantial benefit from the slide in oil prices.

The Africa-focused low-cost carrier does not pre-purchase or 'hedge' its future fuel price but pays current market rates.

Fastjet’s fleet comprises mostly modern Airbus 319 aircraft, but fuel still represents 40% of direct operating costs. 

“As such, the fall in the price of oil delivers a large direct cash benefit to the airline,” it said.

Also today, Range Resources (LON:RRL) added 25% to reach 75p after the shares came back from suspension.  

Four board members including chief executive Rory Scott Russell were not re-elected at the AGM on Friday, but two representatives of main shareholder Abraham have now joined the board.

TyraTech (LON:TYR) shares eased after it said product launch delays have led to slower sales expectations.

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