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FTSE 100 higher, oil names jump, Bitcoin reclaims $40K

EconomyJun 14, 2021 16:35
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Key Points

  • FTSE 100 closing price of 7145.80, +0.16%
  • Oil companies lift FTSE
  • Travel & leisure stocks tumble as reopening in doubt
  • GBP steady despite lockdown extension
  • Bitcoin reclaims $40K as Musk offers glimmer of hope

By Samuel Indyk – The FTSE 100 finished the session higher as a rally in energy names offset a decline in travel & leisure stocks.

Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSa) was the best performing stock in the index, supported by reports that the company is considering selling assets in the US Permian Basin which could fetch as much as $10bln.

Separately, oil prices continued their recent rally with WTI touching its highest level since October 2018 and Brent at its highest since May 2019. Crude oil continues to benefit from an improving demand picture as the global economic rebound continues apace.

Daily air travellers in the US topped 2mln for the first time since the onset of the pandemic at the beginning of last year while much of Europe is also starting to ease restrictions on travel which could see an uptick in demand throughout the summer.

However, one country that isn’t looking like opening up to international travel anytime soon is the UK. Prime Minister Johnson is expected to announce a 4-week delay to the final reopening phase of the government’s lockdown plan, when all restrictions were expected to be eased on 21st June.

The news has weighed on UK Travel & Leisure stocks, including restaurants, pubs, and hotels, such as J D Wetherspoon (LON:JDW), Restaurant Group (LON:RTN) and Whitbread (LON:WTB).

Although restrictions on international travel were not expected to be completely eased at the latest update, maintaining domestic restrictions is a likely sign that quarantine regulations are here to stay, at least for now.

IAG (LON:ICAG), Wizz Air (LON:WIZZ), EasyJet (LON:EZJ) and Ryanair (LON:RYA) all fell ahead of Johnson’s press conference at 18:00BST.

The news about a potential delay has failed to weigh on sterling (the pound, not Raheem) which traded relatively flat against the USD. GBP/USD had been weak early on, dropping below 1.41 but staged a rebound to reclaim the handle ahead of some key data releases this week, including labour market data, inflation, and retail sales.

Cryptocurrencies were some of the biggest movers after another intervention by Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk. The billionaire tweeted that Tesla would resume accepting Bitcoin as payment for its vehicles when there is confirmation of reasonable clean energy usage by miners.

The tweet helped send the price of Bitcoin back above $40,000 for the first time since 27th May and other major cryptocurrencies moved in sympathy.

Comments from billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones on portfolio diversification also supported prices.

“I like bitcoin as a portfolio diversifier,” Jones said in an interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box.


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FTSE 100 higher, oil names jump, Bitcoin reclaims $40K

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