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Europe close: Markets finish higher as Gulf crisis boosts oil plays

By Josh White

Date: Monday 22 Jul 2019

Europe close: Markets finish higher as Gulf crisis boosts oil plays

(Sharecast News) - European markets finished in positive territory on Monday, as the Gulf crisis provided a boost for oil producers although investors were still keeping a wary eye on the European Central Bank meeting later in the week.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index ended the day up 0.08% at 387.55 points, as Germany\'s DAX rose 0.23% to 12,288.73, and the CAC 40 in Paris advanced 0.25% to 5,566.47.

In Spain, the IBEX 35 fell 0.15% to 8,157.10 while Italy\'s FTSE MIB rose 0.44% to 12,735.70, while back in London, the FTSE 100 was 0.08% higher at 7,514.93.

On the currency front, sterling turned 0.18% weaker against the dollar and retreated 0.14% on the euro, to $1.2480 and €1.1127, respectively.

That came after Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan resigned, ahead of Boris Johnson\'s expected appointment as Prime Minister this week.

Crude oil prices rose after Iran\'s seizure of a British tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, with oil majors BP and Shell both benefiting, gaining 1.02% and 0.9% in London respectively.

Brent crude was last up 1.34% at $63.32 per barrel, and West Texas Intermediate advanced 0.84% to $56.23.

The ECB was set to hold a policy meeting on Thursday, with investors watching to see whether it will cut rates or wait until September.

On the downside, Premier Inn owner Whitbread was off 1.56% after the Telegraph reported that Manhattan-based specialist high-frequency trading firm Jane Street Global Trading was leading a £1.5bn bet by hedge funds against the company.

Also on Monday, Whitbread said it had completed a programme to return £2.5bn to shareholders following the sale of Costa Coffee to Coca-Cola last year.

Elsewhere, British Gas owner Centrica fell 2.19% following reports over the weekend that it is planning to slash its dividend for the second time in four years.

Shares in health technology company Philips rose 5.73% as the Dutch firm reported a better-than-expected 6% rise in sales for the second quarter, boosted by strong demand in China and the United States.

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