Surging commodity prices lifted London stocks to positive territory on Tuesday, as geopolitical tensions swirled around investors.
The FTSE 100 index
rose 0.4% to 7,518, also getting a lift as a strong dollar weighed on the British pound
down 0.4%. Investors were absorbing escalation in the Ukraine-Russia crisis after President Vladimir Putin on Monday announced he would officially recognize two separatist regions.
Investors had been hoping for a diplomatic solution and a summit this week between Putin and President Joe Biden, but Western nations were instead rolling out sanctions. The possibility remains that Russia will go ahead and fully invade Ukraine in a fluid situation.
The crisis sent shares of energy companies soaring, with Shell stock
fourth-quarter net profit more than tripled from a year earlier, ending 2021 with a strong earnings turnaround, though investors focused on its caution on China and shares rose just 0.4%.
Smith & Nephew
shares surged 7% after the U.K. medical-technology group said it expects stronger growth in the second half of the year versus the first, though with global supply-chain issues continuing.
The company said profit more-than-doubled for 2021 due to revenue above pre-COVID-19 levels for its Sports Medicine & ENT and Advanced Wound Management franchises.
On the downside, shares of Hargreaves Lansdown
tumbled 15% after the London-listed retail-investment platform reported a fall in profit for the first half of fiscal 2022 on lower share-dealing revenue, and said that it would announce a new growth strategy.