Energy shares weighed down a market already troubled by the Greek situation and the prospect of a US rate rise in the middle of this year.
The slump in the crude price is hitting the spending plans of major oil companies, with Royal Dutch Shell the latest to unveil cutbacks. The company’s B shares slid 110p to £21.38 after it unveiled a $15bn cut in investment over the next three years. Rival BP lost 8.1p to 424.85p and BG dropped 16.9p to 880.9p.
Soco International, the mid-cap producer focused on Vietnam and Africa, also announced a 60% cut in its investment budget this year, leaving its shares 15p lower at 265p.
Overall the FTSE 100 finished down 15.34 points at 6810.60.
Investors were nervous about the outlook for Greece’s finances if the new government fails to reach a compromise with its European creditors, while Wednesday’s statement from the US Federal Reserve was positive enough about the country’s economy to raise the prospect of an earlier than expected increase in borrowing costs. The US market was mixed, rising almost 50 points by the time London closed after better than expected weekly jobless claims but weak home sales figures.
via The Guardian
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