FTSE 100 Edges up as Middle East Conflict Boosts Commodity Stocks

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FTSE 100 Edges up as Middle East Conflict Boosts Commodity Stocks
Credit: © Reuters.

The FTSE 100 made a slight gain at the start of the week on Monday, driven by a surge in commodity-linked stocks due to escalating fears surrounding the Middle East conflict. The index began the week at 7,609.58, with early gains in blue-chip stocks eventually fading, leaving the market little changed overall.

Mining companies Rio Tinto (NYSE: RIO ) and Anglo American (JO: AGLJ ) each experienced a 1.5% share increase, contributing to an overall advancement in oil and mining stocks. Energy stocks and industrial metal miners also rose by 0.6% and 1.3%, respectively, with Rio Tinto leading the blue-chip index gains on the FTSE.

Despite the broader market's stability, there were significant movements within individual companies. Frasers Group's shares rose 14p to 815p as they increased their stake in Boohoo (LON: BOOH ), while Barclays (LON: BARC )' downgrade led to a fall in Ocado (LON: OCDO )'s shares. The online grocery firm emerged as the FTSE 100's top loser with a 5.8% share drop following Barclays' downgrade of its stock to “underweight” over concerns about potential delays in Customer Fulfilment Centre (CFC) rollouts and increased competition from Autostore.

The ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict has been pushing oil prices higher, with crude oil prices remaining above $90 a barrel after nearly a 6% surge last Friday. This rise in oil prices has been affecting global market volatility and leading to rising European markets, contrasting with falling Asian equities and a strengthening safe-haven dollar due to escalating violence in Gaza.

Investment manager St James's Place led the FTSE with a 5% share increase, despite the broader market turbulence.

The impact of the Middle East conflict on commodity prices will continue to be closely watched by investors, as it plays a significant role in shaping the performance of the FTSE 100 and other global markets.

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