(ADVISORY- Follow European and UK stock markets in real time on
the Reuters Live Markets blog on Eikon, see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets)
* FTSE 100 up 0.3 pct
* Energy sector biggest riser as oil price soars
* RBS falls after failing bank stress test
* Ashtead, Zoopla, RPC hit record highs
By Peter Hobson and Alistair Smout
LONDON, Nov 30 Britain's top share index rose on
Wednesday, led by rebounding energy stocks as oil prices jumped
on hopes of a deal to curb global oversupply, though banking
stocks slipped after Royal Bank of Scotland failed a stress
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index was up 0.3 percent in
morning trading. The index was however set for a fall of 2.5
percent in November, which would snap a five-month winning run.
The index has underperformed European peers this month, as
it contains many defensive stocks that have lagged as investors
have bet on a return of inflation and growth following the
election of Donald Trump as president.
The oil and gas sector is also flat for November, as it has
been whipsawed by speculation over Wednesday's meeting of top
oil producers in Vienna.
The FTSE's oil and gas index rose 2.8 percent
after the price of oil shot up on a comment by an Iraqi delegate
that some form of deal would be reached between OPEC members.
Comments by the Saudi oil minister helped extend the gains
further as he said a deal was close.
Brent crude was last up up 5 percent. Analysts say a
successful deal by OPEC could send oil towards $60 per barrel,
while failure could see oil sink towards $30, which would have a
big affect on UK energy stocks.
Royal Dutch Shell gained 3.2 percent, while shares
in BP were up 2.5 percent.
Banking stocks were dragged down by Royal Bank of Scotland
, which lost around 4.5 percent after it failed a stress
test by the Bank of England, meaning it will have to bolster its
Barclays and Standard Chartered were down
by between 0.3 and 0.5 percent after failing some parts of the
test. Lloyds Banking Group and HSBC, which had
adequate capital, were roughly flat.
Despite the drop, the stress test was generally reassuring,
said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, an analyst at London Capital Group.
"The results showed greater balance sheet resilience across
the UK's banking sector ... This is comforting news for all
sectors, which may face uncertain times as the UK prepares to
leave the European Union," she said.
Elsewhere, slipping commodities prices saw mining stocks
fall, with Rio Tinto, Anglo American and
Glencore down by between 2.5 percent and 3 percent.
Shares in Capita fell to its lowest since 2006 after
the services provider received two broker downgrades. Its stock
was down 4.8 percent, the FTSE's biggest faller.
Several stocks touched record high levels. Equipment rental
firm Ashtead was the top performer on the FTSE 100,
gaining 3.1 percent and touching an all-time high after RBC
raised its target price.
On the mid-cap FTSE 250 index, property listing and
price comparison website Zoopla briefly hit its best
ever level after it announced strong results and an optimistic
forecast, despite fears of a Brexit-related slowdown on the UK
housing market. Its shares were last up 6.7 percent.
Packaging company RPC also struck record levels on
higher revenues and broker upgrades, and was up 8.6 percent, the
top riser on the flat FTSE 250.
(Reporting by Peter Hobson; Editing by Andrew Heavens)