(RTTNews) - U.K. stocks were moving higher on Thursday, though the upside remained limited amid lingering concerns about the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic as confirmed infections around the world approached one million.
The benchmark FTSE 100 was up 7 points, or 0.13 percent, at 5,460 after ending down 3.8 percent on Wednesday.
BP Plc shares soared 7 percent and Royal Dutch Shell climbed 8.6 percent as oil prices rose about 8 percent on hopes of a truce in the Saudi-Russia oil price war.
Recruitment firm Hays plunged 7.6 percent after announcing it will issue £200m of shares in an emergency move.
Energy and services firm Centrica slumped 6.7 percent after withdrawing its 2020 Group AOCF guidance.
National Express Group tumbled 5 percent after Matt Ashley decided to step down as Group Business Development Director and from the Board with effect from April 3.
Segro rose about 1 percent. The real estate investment trust reported that its trading in the early part of 2020, prior to onset of the Covid-19 situation, was encouraging and that rent roll growth was tracking ahead of expectations due to new lettings and pre-lets.
In economic news, U.K. house prices increased at the fastest pace since January 2018, data from the Nationwide Building Society showed.
House prices grew 3 percent year-on-year in March, following February's 2.3 percent increase. This was the fastest growth since January 2018.
On a monthly basis, house price growth increased to 0.8 percent from 0.3 percent. In the first quarter, house prices gained 1.3 percent sequentially, taking the annual growth to 2.5 percent.
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