FTSE 100 watch: Footsie gains ground amid strong manufacturing data

on May 2, 2017

The UK benchmark index has started May on the front foot, with investors digesting company earnings and manufacturing data. BP (LON:BP) has been among today’s standout Footsie risers after updating investors on its first-quarter performance.

As of 12:10 BST, the FTSE 100 had added 35.84 points to stand 0.50 percent higher at 7,239.78. Sentiment has been upbeat today as data showed that the Markit/CIPS UK manufacturing purchasing managers’ Index (PMI) had climbed to 57.3 last month, marking a three-year high.
“The UK manufacturing sector made a solid start to the second quarter,” Rob Dobson, senior economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey, commented in a statement, adding that the weak sterling exchange rate had “helped manufacturers take full advantage of the recent signs of revival in the global economy, and especially the eurozone”.

A rise in BP is also lending support to the Footsie, after the blue-chip oil major revealed that it had returned to profit in the first three months of the year, having benefitted from a recovery in oil prices which have bounced back from the 12-year lows seen early last year.
“The broader theme is that BP is looking in better shape because of the higher oil price, and while oil prices hold their ground, BP, alongside with all of the other oil companies are going to benefit,” Jasper Lawler, senior market analyst at London Capital Group, said, as quoted by Reuters, adding that part of the attraction of the FTSE 100 oil major was that it had started cost cutting before peers because of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. BP’s share price is currently 1.64 percent better off at 449.77p.
**The FTSE 100 was 0.54 percent up at 7,242.56 points as of 12:18 BST on Tuesday, 02 May 2017.**

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