Gas price eases as Putin lifts supplies | Shell warns of hit
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5.45pm: Weir hit by ransomware attack
Engineering firm Weir Group said in an after-hours statement it was the target of an attempted ransomware attack in the second half of September, which impacted third-quarter profit.
5pm: London closes higher
The FTSE 100 index 100 closed up 82.17 points, or 1.2%, at 7,078.04. Miners ended among the best performers amid higher metal prices. Antofagasta closed up 5.2%, Anglo American up 5.2%, Rio Tinto up 3.5% and BHP up 3.6%.
11am: Bank admits money laundering
NatWest Group, formerly Royal Bank of Scotland, has today pleaded guilty to three offences of money laundering.
8.30am: Blue chips higher
The FTSE 100 rose as forecast (see below), up 74 points at 7,069.82.
7am: Shell warning
Royal Dutch Shell said soaring natural gas and electricity prices around the world will “significantly” impact revenue in the third quarter.
In an update ahead of its quarterly earnings results this month, Shell also said that damage caused by Hurricane Ida in August will lead to a $400m drop in earnings in the quarter.
Shell’s upstream oil and gas production fell in the quarter to between 2.025 and 2.1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) owing to a prolonged outage of about 90,000 boed at some of its offshore fields in the Gulf of Mexico after Hurricane Ida.
Gas prices eases as Putin intervenes
Natural gas futures fell back 10% late yesterday after Russian President Vladimir Putin promised to increase suppliers to Europe.
On Tuesday, natural gas futures had settled at a high not seen in more than a decade but gas prices are still twice as high as they were last month. UK spot prices surged by an astonishing 40% on Wednesday, and price volatility could continue as investors remain nervous about low stockpiles of gas across Europe.
Mr Putin said Russia could send more gas to Europe via Ukrain – even more than contracted – and are set to hit a record this year.
Crude oil prices also dropped after data show larger-than-expected rise in US oil stockpiles and after US Energy Secretary indicated that the country is ready to release its strategic petroleum reserve to cool off energy prices.
International benchmark Brent crude oil fell 0.62% to $80.58 a barrel (bbl), after it briefly hit above $83/bbl on Wednesday. US West Texas Intermediate shed 0.96% to $76.69/bbl.
12.01am: Growth firms ‘held back’
Scottish growth businesses rely heavily on investors based within the country – and in most cases within a short distance of where they are based, according to new research.
London’s blue chips were expected to open higher as equities rallied in Asia and Washington appeared closer to approving the new, temporary, debt ceiling.
UK traders remain focused on inflation, supply chains and the energy crisis, though action by Russian President Putin to increase supplies of gas helped ease tensions.
European markets will look to the European Central Bank for direction after it releases minutes from its policy meeting.
On Wall Street, the Nasdaq was the best performer, up 0.47%, while the S&P 500 moved up 0.4% and Dow Jones closed 0.3% to the goood.
In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei rose by 0.84% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 2.43%, while the Shanghai Composite added 0.9%.