UK’s FTSE 100 boosted by oil gains, Restaurant Group surges

By Khushi Singh and Bansari Mayur Kamdar

(Reuters) -London’s FTSE 100 rose on Thursday, helped by gains in energy stocks as crude prices climbed on hopes that U.S. interest rates have peaked, while Restaurant Group jumped by more than a third after accepting a takeover bid.

The commodity-heavy FTSE 100 closed 0.3% higher having trimmed earlier gains after a mixed bag of U.S. inflation data. U.S consumer prices rose in September but a steady moderation in underlying price pressures supported bets that the Federal Reserve would hold interest rates next month.

Oil and gas stocks rallied 1.9% on firm crude prices, making it the day’s biggest gaining sector.

Shares of Wagamama owner The Restaurant Group jumped 36.1% as the company agreed to a 506 million pound ($623.4 million) takeover by private equity firm Apollo Global after a year of financial struggles.

The exporter-heavy FTSE 100 was also supported by a weaker pound, which fell 0.8% against the dollar after data showed the UK economy grew in line with expectations in August, but shrank more than initially thought in July.

“August numbers came in as expected, but it still demonstrates how the burden of high borrowing costs and the wider cost of living crisis is weighing hard on consumer and company sentiment,” said Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets, Hargreaves Lansdown.

Barclays fell 3.1% after Chief Executive C.S. Venkatakrishnan said in a podcast that sluggish deal activity and peaking interest rates could add to pressure on bank earnings.

The FTSE 250 slipped 0.2% with transport firm Mobico tumbling 27.5% to the bottom of the mid-cap index after lowering its profit forecast for the year and suspending dividends as it grapples with high costs.

Building materials supplier SIG lost 8.8% after cutting its annual profit forecast.

(Reporting by Khushi Singh, Sruthi Shankar and Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty, Kirsten Donovan)