StockMarketWire.com - The shutdown of the UK North Sea's main pipeline system for emergency repairs and a resulting spike in the price of oil continued to boost shares in BP (BP.) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) throughout the day.

BP and Shell were up 1.4% and 1.7%, respectively.

As the companies are among the biggest on the FTSE 100 in terms of market cap, the index enjoyed a 0.6% rise to 7,500.

UK inflation increased to 3.1%, marking the highest level in over five years according to the Office for National Statistics.

Gains in Brent crude oil fell 1% to $64 per barrel.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

On Tuesday, the market was mixed ahead of the US Federal Reserve's anticipated interest rate hike later this week.

The Dow Jones received a boost from Boeing's latest results, which included a 20% increase in the dividend. The index was trading 0.5% higher at 24,523 around 4:45pm.

The Nasdaq and S&P 500 were flat.

MID AND LARGE RISERS AND FALLERS

Equipment rental specialist Ashtead (AHT) revealed that full year results were likely to beat expectations thanks to clean-up work following hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Shares in the firm increased 2.1% to £20.62.

Petrofac (PFC) was awarded a contract worth $800m by BP for the facility at the Khazzan Phase 2 gas development in Oman. The late afternoon announcement did not go unnoticed as the shares jumped 3.6% to 450.7p.

Housebuilder Balfour Beatty (BBY) rose 1.3% to 275.6p after reporting it is confident of achieving industry-standard margins in the second half of its current financial year.

Miner Glencore (GLEN) failed to impress the market despite revealing operating earnings in its marketing division would hit the top end of its annual earnings guidance. Shares in Glencore nudged 0.5% lower to 349.4p.

Specialty chemicals firm Elementis (ELM) fizzed 2.8% higher to 284.7p after agreeing to sell its surfactants business to Kolb Distribution for €39m.

Power generation company Drax (DRX) brightened 2.5% to 275.5p as investors wanted more. Management said the firm was trading in line with expectations.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Copper miner Weatherly International (WTI) entered a binding agreement to purchase the Kitumba copper project in Zambia from Intrepid Mines, helping the stock soar 24.7% to 1.03p.

Recruiter Robert Walters (RWA) upgraded full year pre-tax profit guidance, driven by strong trading across all its regions in the first two months of the fourth quarter, prompting a 7.7% rally to 593.5p.

Flooring products retailer Carpetright (CPR) fell 5.9% to 174p following a profit warning. The company said underlying pre-tax profit for the second half of the year was anticipated to hit the bottom end of expectations of between £18.8m to £16.7m.

On AIM, British lifestyle brand Joules (JOUL) was static at 261.1p despite a positive first half trading update, which highlighted strong growth. CEO Colin Porter said trading conditions remained challenging, which could shed light on the cautious response.

Biotech company ValiRx (VAL) was the biggest small cap riser, up 121.8% at 6.9p, thanks to a positive update on the progress of its anti-cancer compound VAL401.

Elsewhere, engineering business TP (TPG) won a £700,000 equipment supply contract with an undisclosed overseas defence contractor, helping the shares gain 2.3% to 5.5p.


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