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What to Watch: FTSE 100 hits six month high while European stocks tread red

Lianna Brinded
Head of Yahoo Finance UK
Monitors display FTSE 100 figures outside Morgan Stanley & Co. headquarters in the Times Square. Photo: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg/Getty

Here are the top business, market and economic stories you should be watching today in the UK, Europe and abroad:

Oil stocks and Thomas Cook boosts FTSE 100 

The FTSE 100 (^FTSE) hit six month highs in early trading, thanks oil stocks and Thomas Cook (TCG.L) shares taking off on takeover rumours.

The index, which has a glut of major energy stocks, rose 0.4% to hit new highs after oil majors, such as Shell (RDSA.L) and BP (BP.L), were boosted by a proposed end to the US’ Iran sanction waivers.

READ MORE: Oil hits 2019 highs on US aims to remove Iran oil sanctions waivers

On Monday, the White House announced that waivers for China, India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey would expire in May, in a bid drive down Iran’s oil exports to zero. This would, in turn, deny the government its main source of revenue.

Meanwhile, shares in Thomas Cook also provided a sizeable lift, following rumours that it has been tentatively approached about a takeover.

READ MORE: Thomas Cook shares soar on takeover rumours from US, Swedish, and Chinese firms

The tour operator, which is one of the most iconic names in British travel history, had shares soar by over 14%, after Sky News reported that the takeover talks centred around its tour operating unit, as well as the entire company.

Meanwhile, Europe stock treads lower…

Stock price figures sit on display inside the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, operated by Deutsche Boerse AG, in Frankfurt. Photo|: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg/Getty

In Europe overall, markets traded lower on Tuesday, following Belgian battery maker Umicore (NVJP.Fstarting a week of earnings with a disappointing outlook.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index traded lower after seven consecutive sessions of gains as Umicore fell 16% after it warned revenue and earnings growth in 2020 will be lower than previously expected.

While oil majors, mainly on the FTSE 100, gained ground due to the news from the US, airline stocks took a hit from the higher oil prices.