London’s FTSE 100 Index has clawed its way into positive territory despite further falls for commodity stocks after Royal Dutch Shell’s results disappointment.
The top tier gained 13.1 points to 5996.4 early on Friday, helped by a steady finish on Wall Street overnight and strong gains in Asia.
Shell extended Thursday’s 3% loss with a further 1% fall, down 16p to 2161.5p, while other energy stocks remained in the red, with BG Group off 7.5p to 1427p.
Cairn Energy was the biggest FTSE faller, down 11.8p to 426.2p, after reports that Vedanta Resources was considering pulling out of a deal to buy a majority stake in Cairn India.
Outside the top flight, retailer HMV soared 12% or 2.75p to 25.5p, boosted by speculation that potential buyers are circling the embattled group. Private equity and former retail bosses are said to be eyeing HMV for takeover.
Superdry fashion label SuperGroup was also on the rise, ahead 4% after a 58p rise to 1588p, as the market gave the thumbs up to news of its deal to buy out European franchise partner CNC Collections.
Elsewhere, Clover maker Dairy Crest fell 8.9p to 371.1p as it became the latest group to outline soaring inflationary pressures.