Oil stocks, GSK weakness pull FTSE 100 lower; Deliveroo jumps

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man shelters under an umbrella as he walks past the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain, August 24, 2015. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/

By Shashank Nayar

(Reuters) -London’s inched lower on Thursday on weakness in oil stocks and GlaxoSmithKline, while food delivery platform Deliveroo jumped on order growth hitting the top of its outlook range.

The blue-chip index eased 0.3%, weighed down by oil majors Royal Dutch Shell (LON:) and BP (LON:) as they tracked lower prices. [O/R]

GlaxoSmithKline fell 1.9% and was the second-biggest loser on the FTSE 100 after consumer goods giant Unilever (LON:) late on Wednesday effectively ended its pursuit of a business that the pharmaceuticals company plans to spin off later this year.

However, the blue-chip index is set to gain for the fifth consecutive week, helped by strength in commodity-linked shares and banking stocks, significantly outperforming the pan-European .

Food delivery company Deliveroo rose 5.6% on strong fourth-quarter order value growth, resulting in it hitting the top of its outlook range for the year.

“The effective lockdown conditions created by Omicron undoubtedly helped (Deliveroo), but with restrictions starting to be lifted, this supportive trend is rapidly moving into the rear-view mirror,” Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday announced the end of COVID-19 measures including mandatory face masks in England.

The domestically focussed mid-cap index was flat.

Primark owner Associated British Foods (LON:) dropped 1.5% after it said the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant dented shopper numbers in December.

Premier Foods was the top midcap gainer, up 6.4%, and said it expects full-year profits above market expectations, as its trademark Mr Kipling brand delivered its best-ever Christmas sales.

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