FTSE 100 Rise After Brexit Delay Vote

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The gains recorded by oil majors and the optimism that a Brexit delay would help in averting a disruptive no-deal departure from the European Union helped the main stock index of the United Kingdom rise for a fifth straight day, while Restaurant Group, the owner, of Frankie & Benny, advanced on strong earnings.

The FTSE 100 improved by 0.5 percent and the FTSE 250 was higher by 0.3 percent by 0826 GMT.

The parliament of the United Kingdom approved the motion requesting the European Union for a short delay if the lawmakers can agree on a Brexit deal by the 20th of March, or a longer delay if nothing can be agreed in time.

Michael Hewson, an analyst from CMC Markets, stated: “This means that for now the prime minister has managed to retain control of the Brexit process and can resurrect her rather battered withdrawal agreement for another vote.”

BP and Shell added 1 percent to the main index after the crude prices of the United States rose to their highest this year. Production cuts and the sanctions imposed by the United States against Iran and Venezuela helped boost prices.

A weak pound lent some support to dollar earners as Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, prepared to try again to win the approval for her proposed Brexit deal. Diageo, the largest spirits company in the world, Unilever, and GlaxoSmithKline, all gained.

On the FTSE 250, the shares of Restaurant Group rose by 12.2 percent – their biggest increase in two years – after announcing that its like-for-like sales improved by 2.8 percent in the 10 weeks to March 10.

The shares of Interserve gained 15.8 percent after plunging by as much as 8 percent, before a shareholder meeting on whether to accept a rescue deal or allow the troubled outsourcer collapse into administration.

Bakkavor slipped 6.5 percent as Berenberg reduced its rating and said that it believes that the food manufacturers in the United Kingdom are “not as tasty as they look” with the shoppers spending more cautiously.