UK stocks rebound in early trade on Thursday as oil prices jump ahead of an OPEC meeting and as investors await the European Central Bank’s latest policy decision. Brent crude was up 0.91% to $50.18 per barrel and West Texas Intermediate increased 0.81% to $49.41 per barrel in early deals ahead of OPEC leaders gathering in Vienna to discuss ways to tackle the global supply glut later on Thursday.
The FTSE 100 index adds 20-odd points to 6,212.
In company news, Johnson Matthey (JMAT) shares rally 2% to £28.80 even as it reports a 22% drop in full year pre-tax profit, partly due to costs related to its restructuring programme. Yet revenues gained 6% and chief executive Robert MacLeod says 'we expect performance to be ahead of 2015/16 and in line with current market expectations.'
Low fares airline Ryanair (RYA) edges 0.36% higher to €14.01 on record monthly numbers, reporting 12% growth in May traffic to 10.6 million customers as well as a 2% increase in its load factor to 94%.
Rigid plastic packaging products maker RPC (RPC) rises 8p to 810.5p as investors cheer strong full year results, showing 35% growth in taxable profits to £160.6 million, a performance founded upon good underlying growth, as well as a 20% dividend hike to 17.1p.
Testing kit-maker EKF Diagnostics (EKF:AIM) falls 5.3% to 11.2p, despite first quarter revenue and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) beating expectations. Plans to sell 42.2 million shares in a placing to raise working capital and reduce debt are the problem as investors’ fear that the shares will be sold at a discount.