FTSE 100 skids as Venezuela warns oil prices on brink of collapse

Given its apprehensive tone, Credit Suisse began covering the FTSE 100 stock by issuing an “underperform” rating and a price target of £86.50.

The bank urged investors to remember that “it is unlikely that every merger will be a success”. However, Mr Birkin highlighted the merger will lead to a significant boost to the technology budget and marketing spend.

While analysts acknowledge the combined management team are extremely strong, they are less convinced about the scale of the potential benefit in bringing the two companies together, compared to leaving them as standalone entities. Shares closed down 405p, or 4.3pc, at £89.25.

Meanwhile, in what was a remarkable recovery after a torrid start to the day, the FTSE 100 continued its drive above the 6,400 level.

The blue chip index, which is inextricably correlated to the oil price move, edged up 4.91 points, or 0.08pc, by close to 6,410.26.

Oil price volatility reigned supreme as Brent crude swung between losses of 2pc and gains of 2.8pc. In early trade, crude crumbled as Kuwaiti oil workers ended their three-day strike. It was little helped by a warning from Venezuela’s energy minister Eulogio Del Pino that oil prices may collapse in coming weeks if output freeze talks don’t resume. However, in late afternoon, oil turned positive when data showed that US crude inventories fell by less than expected last week. Royal Dutch Shell B shares and BP inched up 0.6pc and 0.2pc respectively.

Meanwhile, in what was a remarkable recovery after a torrid start to the day, the FTSE 100 continued its drive above the 6,400 level.

The blue chip index, which is inextricably correlated to the oil price move, edged up 4.91 points, or 0.08pc, by close to 6,410.26.

Oil price volatility reigned supreme as Brent crude swung between losses of 2pc and gains of 2.8pc. In early trade, crude crumbled as Kuwaiti oil workers ended their three-day strike. It was little helped by a warning from Venezuela’s energy minister Eulogio Del Pino that oil prices may collapse in coming weeks if output freeze talks don’t resume. However, in late afternoon, oil turned positive when data showed that US crude inventories fell by less than expected last week. Royal Dutch Shell B shares and BP inched up 0.6pc and 0.2pc respectively.

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