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BP and Aberdeen underpin rise in equities

London Stock ExchangePositive results from BP helped drive gains on the first trading day of the month.

The  FTSE 100 index closed 45.68 points or 0.6% higher at 7,249.62, in line with a broadly positive European market.

Shares in BP shares rose 1.6% after its profit nearly tripled in the first quarter of 2017.

A higher oil price and a rise in production helped BP report a first-quarter underlying replacement cost profit, the company’s definition of net income, of $1.51 billion, beating analysts’ average forecast of $1.26 billion.

Jasper Lawler, senior market analyst at London Capital Group, said: “The broader theme is that BP is looking in better shape because of the higher oil price.

“Part of the attraction with BP is that they started the cost cutting before some of the big oil majors because of Deepwater (Horizon), but now as the oil price does continue to hold up, maybe you don’t necessarily want as much cost cutting anymore, you want to start expanding.”

Online supermarket Ocado was 4.8% hgher after reports that it is considering a tie-up with Marks & Spencer. It has also agreed a deal with garden centre chain Dobbies.

An improvement in emerging markets drove Aberdeen Asset Management shares 4.3% higher. Its outflows from funds also slowed, providing a boost as the company prepares to merge with Standard Life whose shares rose 2.8%.

 

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