UK oil up despite lower crude oil prices

| August 31, 2006 | 0 Comments

The FTSE 100 closed down by 0.4 percent to 5,906.1 in London on Thursday, but the FTSE 250 added 0.2 percent to 9,601.2.

The oil sector saw gains on the day despite crude oil prices that were lower again after initial gains on the session. Premier Oil added 1.8 percent to £10.30 on talk that it could receive a bid from Pemex of Mexico. Cairn Energy was 3.1 percent higher to £21.32 ahead of the release of its half-year results next week. Tullow Oil gained 3.7 percent to 392¼p on reconfirmation of Deutsche Bank’s “buy” recommendation. In addition, oil services group Hunting was up 9.3 percent to 448p.

Among miners, Antofagasta managed a gain of 4 percent to 465½p on a gain in the price of copper.

Cruise ship operator Carnival added 2.9 percent on the session to £22.53 after a reiteration of Morgan Stanley’s “overweight” rating and on the news that Royal Caribbean’s earnings were up in its third quarter. This is somewhat of a comeback for Carnival, which was down 30 percent on the year so far.

Also staging a comeback was EMI, which has been in the doldrums since talks with Warner Music toward a merger were derailed in July. EMI added 2.4 percent to 267¾p on an upgrade to “outperform” from Cazenove, which cited the value of EMI’s back catalogue in light of the auction of BMG’s music publishing unit.

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