May 1, 2018 / 7:50 AM / a year ago

BP, oil prices keep FTSE afloat

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LONDON, May 1 (Reuters) - A rise in energy stocks led by BP , boosted by strong first-quarter results, kept Britain's FTSE afloat on Tuesday while most European bourses were closed for Labour Day.

At 0737 GMT, the blue-chip index was up 0.18 percent to 7,523.35 points with BP adding the most points with a 1.5 percent rise after reporting a 71 percent jump in profit in the first quarter.

Worries that U.S. President Donald Trump may pull out of the Iran nuclear deal kept oil prices high, but overall sentiment benefited from his decision to postpone the imposition of steel and aluminium tariffs on Canada, the European Union and Mexico.

Food delivery group Just Eat enjoyed the strongest rise, up 4.7 percent after reporting revenues for the first-quarter.

Liberum analysts said that given the "very strong" trading update, Just Eat's annual sales would probably be higher than expected.

"The implication is that their revenue guidance looks far too conservative," they wrote.

The publication of Britain's Manufacturing PMI for April at 0830 GMT will be very closely watched after Friday's disappointing GDP data made investors fear a sharp slowdown in growth could be on its way.

The British government's recent setbacks are also weighing on the pound, a typical tailwind for shares in dollar earnings British companies, after Britain's upper house voted to give parliament powers to block or delay a final deal on departure from the European Union.

On other markets, Danish brewer Carlsberg was up 0.2 percent after reporting a 5 percent fall in sales in the first quarter, weighed by a negative currency impact and lower volumes in its key Russian market. (Julien Ponthus, Editing by Helen Reid)

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