Feb 2 (Reuters) – London shares tracked gains in Asian equities on Tuesday, following optimism about economic stimulus and a global recovery, while oil manufacturing major BP dropped after reporting weak earnings.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index rose 0.2%, with insurers and banks leading the gains, while the mid-cap index added 0.4%.
BP fell 3.4% to the bottom of the FTSE 100 as profit in the last quarter of 2020 sunk to $115 million due to weak energy demand, with fuel consumption continuing to slide so far this year due to tightening travel restrictions.
Asian stock markets gained for a second day, ahead of negotiations between U.S. President Joe Biden and Republican senators on a new COVID-19 support bill.
British power producer SSE Plc rose 0.3% after saying it has appointed banks to explore options for the sale of all or some of its stake in Scotia Gas Networks (SGN).
Meanwhile, to curb the spread of a new and highly-infectious South African variant of the novel coronavirus, Britain has begun door-to-door testing of 80,000 people.
(Reporting by Shashank Nayar and Amal S in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)