Oil majors support FTSE 100; Intu jumps on M&A report
By Indranil Sarkar and Muvija M
Sept 9 (Reuters) - London's FTSE 100 inched up on Monday as shares of oil majors rose on hopes that Saudi Arabia's new energy minister will continue to support output cuts, while a fall in the local currency also aided the exporter-heavy bourse.
The main index .FTSE, which earns more than two-thirds of its profits in dollars, rose 0.3% by 0801 GMT as sterling weakened ahead of the parliament votes on whether to hold an early election on Oct.15.
Shell RDSa.L and BP BP.L climbed higher by 1% each, tracking a rise in crude prices. O/R
The FTSE 250 midcap index .FTMC was up by roughly the same level, led by a 17% jump in Intu Properties INTUP.L after the Times reported that private equity firm Orion Capital Managers was looking to buy the shopping centre operator.
Rises on both the bourses come ahead of a slew of British economic data, including gross domestic product data, scheduled this morning.
Investors are expecting central banks to step in with stimulus plans after a data showed an unexpected fall in China's exports last month, while another one pointed to a slowdown in Japan's economy in the second quarter.
The weakness reflected an impact from the prolonged Sino-U.S. trade war to global economic growth.
The dispute saw a sharp escalation last month when the United States announced tariffs going up to $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. That had dragged the FTSE 100 to its biggest monthly fall so far this year that month.
On Monday, the FTSE 100 saw some sharp news-related falls, with Associated British Foods ABF.L losing 3.3% after poor outlook for its Primark fashion chain and British Airways owner IAG ICAG.L dropping 2.6% as it cancelled nearly all its flights due to strikes.
Smaller airlines such as easyJet EZJ.L and Wizz Air WIZZ.L were also down 3% and 2.5%, respectively.
Lloyds LLOY.L was the biggest drag with a 2% dip after Britain's largest lender said it is suspending its 2019 share buyback programme and will make extra provisions for payment protection insurance claims.
"Investors may also worry about the dividend, however we do know that the later the claims, the less chance they have of success," Markets.com analyst Neil Wilson said.
(Reporting by Indranil Sarkar in Bengaluru; editing by Arun Koyyur)
((Indranil.Sarkar@thomsonreuters.com; within UK +44 20 7542 1810, outside UK +91 80 6749 9573;))
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