European stocks driven by energy sector gains

Mon Apr 28, 7:16 AM ET

Europe’s main stock markets advanced Monday, with the energy sector moving higher on the back of record oil prices and after earlier gains in Asia, dealers said.

In late morning trade, London’s FTSE 100 index of top companies rose 0.57 percent to 6,125.90 points, the Paris CAC 40 added 0.69 percent to 5,012.90 points and Frankfurt’s DAX 30 was up 0.59 percent to 6,937.70 points.

The Euro Stoxx 50 index of leading eurozone shares rose 0.54 percent to 3,814.75 points.

The European single currency stood at 1.5671 dollars.

Asian markets bounced higher on Monday as investors took their cue from Wall Street, where shares ended mostly firmer Friday as traders focused on signs of an easing in the global credit crunch.

Equities were also supported by growing optimism that the United States would cut borrowing costs later this week, dealers said.

In commodity markets on Monday, oil prices hit a historic peak close to 120 dollars as strikes in Britain and Nigeria heightened global supply concerns, traders said.

Industrial action at a major refinery in Grangemouth, west of Edinburgh, entered a second day on Monday.

The strike has forced British energy giant BP to shut down the neighbouring Forties pipeline which supplies 40 percent of the country’s oil and gas.

However, in London on Monday, BP shares jumped 1.12 percent to 586.5 pence.

Soaring oil prices usually dampen investor sentiment because they eat into company profits and push their costs up but traditionally the energy sector is boosted.

Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell saw its ‘B’ shares gain 0.73 percent to 1940 pence.

In Paris, shares in French oil and gas giant Total added 0.86 percent to 52.94 euros.

On Monday, New York’s main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for June delivery, touched a record high 119.93 dollars a barrel.

London’s Brent North Sea crude for June rose 72 cents to 117.06 dollars Monday after striking an all-time high of 117.56 dollars on Friday.

In Wall Street action before the weekend, US stocks ended mostly higher as traders largely shook off a dismal consumer confidence reading.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.33 percent to close at 12,891.86 points, recovering from early weakness.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite, hurt by a disappointing profit report from Microsoft, dropped 0.25 percent to 2,422.93. The broad-market Standard and Poor’s 500 index climbed 0.65 percent to 1,397.84.

In Asia on Monday, Japanese share prices ended slightly higher on easing worries about tight credit and corporate earnings, dealers said.

Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei-225 index rose 0.22 percent to 13,894.37 points. Hong Kong’s key Hang Seng index was up 0.6 percent at 25,666.29 points.


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