FTSE 100 makes strong early progress – Markets rise as energy stocks surge continues

Trading for the week began on a positive note in London as the FTSE 100 moved higher, reclaiming the 7,900 level.

At 8:15 am, London’s primary index was up 29.10 points, or 0.37%, at 7,901.01, while the FTSE 250 was also in a positive mood at 19,299.99, up 57.30 points, or 0.30%.

According to Susannah Streeter, Head of Money and Markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, “cautious optimism is the Monday motivation mantra” as the upbeat earnings report of several prominent US banks and indications of consumer resilience mask continuing concerns about the impact of higher interest rates.

After several leading US banks, including JPMorgan, Citi, and Wells Fargo, released positive results on Friday, UK banks opened higher.

In early trading, the FTSE 100 has extended its gains for the seventh consecutive session, with the resource-rich index receiving a boost from miners and oil heavyweights. The blue-chip index has surged by 0.5%, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 has added 0.8%.

Energy stocks have contributed to the gains, adding 1.2%, as crude prices rose following Opec+’s plan to cut more output, while markets monitored Chinese economic data for demand recovery signals. Metal miners also rose by 1.8%, as tin prices soared to their highest level in almost two months, amidst discussions of a possible mining ban in major ore producer Myanmar.

Among individual stocks, Network International has seen a significant rise of 21.3%, following a takeover proposal from a consortium of CVC Capital and Francisco Partners. John Wood Group has also seen an increase of 7.6% after engaging with Apollo Management for a firm offer at a final buyout price of 240 pence per share.

John Wood Group, an oil and gas consulting company, has confirmed its collaboration with private equity giant Apollo Global Management regarding a potential takeover. The London-based firm has declined four proposals from Apollo previously but has granted the investment business access to due diligence materials.

The board has extended the deadline for a firm offer to be made until May 17, following feedback from Wood shareholders. The company provides energy firms with a range of services, including engineering support, consultation, and asset management.

Wood Group has been seeking ways to unlock the value it believes has not been reflected in its share price. Over the past five years, the company’s stock has fallen by roughly 60%, a period in which Wood Group was affected by lower spending among oil and gas producers and expenses linked to its 2017 acquisition of UK engineering service provider Amec Foster Wheeler.

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