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* Oil, financial stocks lead FTSE 100 higher
* Grafton Group slumps as CEO set to leave
* FTSE 100 up 0.9%, FTSE 250 off 0.2%
July 4 (Reuters) - Britain's top share index climbed on
Monday as stable crude prices boosted oil stocks, while
investors were waiting for the earnings season to pick up pace
to assess the hit to profits from surging prices and higher
The blue-chip FTSE 100 closed 0.9% up and the
domestically focussed FTSE 250 index ended 0.2% lower
with overall trading volumes lightened by a U.S. holiday.
Both the indexes started the second half of 2022 on a
subdued note on Friday after a rough first six months on worries
that aggressive rate hikes would trigger a global recession.
Oil majors BP and Shell on Monday gained
4.4% and 3.9% respectively, as crude priced rose on concerns
about tight supplies amid lower OPEC output, unrest in Libya and
sanctions on Russia.
"A small bounce back in the oil price was enough to give BP
and Shell a lift and provide welcome support to the FTSE 100
index," Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said.
"Fundamentally, supplies continue to be tight and there is
still enough economic activity to stop oil prices slumping.
However, lingering recession fears could act as a ceiling on the
While the global nature of the FTSE 100 has helped it
outperform world stocks in 2022, worries about the slowing
economy and surging prices have hurt the FTSE 250 index. It is
down more than 20% this year compared with a 2.1% drop in the
Auto Trader Group Plc added 3.2% after Peel Hunt
upgraded the UK-based online car marketplace's stock to "buy"
from "add" on stable vehicle demand.
Grafton Group dropped 7.7% and weighed on the
mid-cap index, after the building materials supplier said Gavin
Slark would step down as chief executive on Dec. 31.
Pets at Home Group Plc slid 8.3% after Royal Bank
of Canada downgraded the pet care retailer's stock to
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Devik Jain in Bengaluru;
Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips, Arun Koyyur and Andrew