BP, which rose early on following news the company which loaned it the Deepwater Horizon rig back in 2010 had agreed a 1.4bn dollar settlement for the part it played in the gulf of Mexico oil spill that followed the fatal explosion of the rig. Speaking of Transocean's settlement, BP said: 'In settling, Transocean has acknowledged that it played a significant role and has responsibility for the accident. Transocean is finally starting, more than two-and-a-half years after the accident, to do its part for the Gulf Coast.'
Nevertheless, the wider resource sector was under the weather today, with Fresnillo, Randgold, Petrofac and Polymetal all registering losses. Fresnillo was the heaviest faller after UBS cut its recommendation for the shares to 'neutral'. Analyst Chris Lichtenheldt noted that the stock currently trades at 1.26 times net asset value and 18.7 times 2013 cash flow, 48% and 44% higher than the North American peer group, respectively.
Sector peer Anglo American was also in the red after agreeing to sell its 70% interest in the Amapá iron ore mine in Brazil. The terms of the deal with Zamin Ferrous are confidential and subject to state regulatory approval, but the company said it was expected to complete in 2013.
High Street retailer Marks & Spencer fell after Nomura lowered its full-year (ending March 2013) profit before tax forecast from £694m to £666m, based on recent Kanta market data.
Real estate investment trust Hammerson was dampened by Credit Suisse after the broker downgraded its rating for the stock to 'neutral'.
Power systems giant Rolls-Royce fell despite revealing that it is to provide repair and support services for aircraft engines operated by the US Marine Corps and Air Force as part of a contract worth $52.2m.
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