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Market report: Oil firms don’t look so slick as Barclays cuts price forecasts

Mark Shapland

Oilers were languishing near the bottom of the blue-chips table today after analysts at Barclays painted a gloomy picture for the industry.

The scribblers slashed predictions for Brent crude prices for next year, adding that consumption will slow to one million barrels per day, 300,000 fewer than current expectations.

Barclays blamed growing protectionism for its forecasts as President Donald Trump steps up his trade war with China. As a result growth around the globe is anticipated to cool.

The bank also said signs of a slowdown in the car industry would subdue demand for the black gold.

Last week Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler reported a profit warning, while Nissan, Volvo, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and BMW have also posted poor results in recent weeks.

Barclays has cut its oil price target for 2020 by $6, saying prices will hover around $69 per barrel. Prices are at $63 per barrel but hit a high of $75 in April.

Shares in BP and Shell fell as the oil giants need higher prices to boost their profits. BP was down 10.9p to 517p, while Shell lost 20p to 2537p.

Oil firms weren’t the only ones struggling, with rental equipment firm Ashtead also losing ground after US rival United Rentals cut its full-year expectations overnight.

The shares were down by 51p to 2215p.

Luxury clothes maker Burberry, which is on course for its best week in more than a decade after posting robust sales growth on Tuesday, fell too after fast-fashion website Asos unveiled a profit warning. Burberry shed 58p to 2287p.

The losses meant the FTSE 100 was in the red by 49.60 points to 7485.86.

But there were some gainers, including Love Island broadcaster ITV.

Brokers suggested the firm could be a takeover target for Netflix after the streamer posted some dismal results and slowing subscription numbers.

Netflix has been overpaying companies like AT&T and Disney for content, putting the onus it to start producing more shows itself.

Trinity Mirror owner Reach rose 4%, or 3.4p, to 84.4p after it confirmed interest in JPI, the publishing business formerly known as Johnston Press.

On the FTSE 250 Moneysupermarket took a tumble, 12.7p to 389p, despite the price-comparison website staying on track to meet forecasts after revenue jumped 17% in the first half.

Analysts at Peel Hunt said the figures were decent, adding that this session’s share price fall was down to profit taking as the company’s stock has risen 46% this year.