Market report: Shell and BP in the red as OPEC keeps pumping black gold

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Far from turning off the taps to prop up the sinking oil price, Opec is pumping black gold like there’s no tomorrow.

The Middle East cartel’s oil production has reached an eight-year high, according to the International Energy Agency.

Saudi Arabia’s output hitting a record high and Iraq pumping more oil added 150,000 barrels per day in July to Opec’s production, which came in at 33.4 million barrels a day.

News that Opec is flooding the market by keeping its foot firmly pressed on the accelerator weighed on oil prices and a barrel of Brent crude dropped 0.46 cents, or 1%, to $43.59.

The decline left its mark on the UK’s top share index as oil and gas giants Royal Dutch Shell and BP slipped into the red, down 59.98p, or 3%, to 1924.52p and 2.1p to 420.9p.

Accounting for its heavier fall, Shell’s shares went ex-dividend, along with 15 other blue-chip stocks as investors cashed in their chips after bagging the right to the latest shareholder payout.

Other big-hitters on the ex-divi list were BT, off 6.55p at 392.25p, Barclays, 1.73p cheaper at 160.97p, and Rio Tinto, which sagged 15.2p to 2452p, all of which meant the FTSE 100 sank 40.26 points to 6826.16.

An uncertain outlook for the property market in post-Brexit Britain knocked housebuilder Berkeley Group 161p, or 6.2%, to 2452p, with a downgrade from Barclays to underweight for builders’ merchant Travis Perkins, 49p weaker at 1511p, also taking its toll on the sector.

Glencore’s first-half production numbers provided no major shocks for its shareholders, though shares in the commodities giant, led by Ivan Glasenberg, dipped 1.55p to 193.7p.

Shares in soft drinks bottler Coca-Cola HBC fizzed 95p, or 6%, higher to 1666p as it remained upbeat on its full-year prospects at the half-year mark.

On the mid-cap index, car insurer Hastings shifted up 3.43p to 209.53p as first-half pre-tax profits impressed, jumping 22% to £52 million. 

With like-for-like sales growth crumpling to just 0.2% in the first six months of 2016 from 2.8% the year before, investors folded on Card Factory, off 24.7p at 295.5p.

A £3.2 million share purchase from Morgan Sindall chief executive John Morgan encouraged investors to follow suit and the construction group rose 35.69p to 712.69p.

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August 11, 2016 |
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