Monday, 15 May: the FTSE 100 index made a spritely start to the day, opening at an all time high of 7454.43 before closing out the day +0.26%. The primary index benefitted from a continued rally in Brent crude over the weekend, rallying almost $3 higher to just shy of $52/bbl since last week. The price of Brent crude was pushed higher as energy ministers of Saudi Arabia and Russia announced that the current agreement to cut production, which began late last year, should be extended until March 2018. Amongst those lifting the FTSE 100 were BP(+1.28%) and Royal Dutch Shell(+0.83%), along with miners Antofagasta(+2.26%), BHP Billiton(+2.05%), and Glencore(+1.51%). However, the oil complex remains 6.70% lower since mid-April on prolonged supply glut worries.
Sophos(+3.02%) rose on fears of subsequent cyber attacks on important state infrastructure and corporate entities. The cyber security business was buoyed after Friday’s “Wannacry” ransomware attack, with the highest profile victim being the NHS, accompanied by other major company computer systems across the globe.
TUI slipped 4.57% lower, despite recording improved results on a comparative basis. The tour operator reported a narrowed underlying loss in the first half of its financial year and reiterated guidance for the full year of 10% growth in underlying Ebitda. The owner of Thomson and First Choice, reported an underlying earnings before interest, tax, and amortisation loss of €193.3m in the six months to the end of March, improved from a €206.4m loss in the prior period as revenues at constant currencies were improved €0.5bn to €6.69bn vs. the respective period. Source market in the northern region comprising the UK, Ireland, Nordic countries, Canada and Russia delivered customer volume growth of 5%, as lower demand for Turkey and Egypt was offset by greater demand for Greece, Spain, Cape Verde, Cyprus and long haul destinations such as the Caribbean.