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Financial Times: Mid-caps top again in year of all-round decent performance

By Christopher Brown-Humes
Published: December 30 2006 02:00 | Last updated: December 30 2006 02:00

…one of the surprises of the year was just how many of the UK’s top 20 companies did so badly. Six of them actually saw their share prices fall – BP, Shell, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, BHP Billiton and HSBC.

BP was the FTSE 100’s third worst performer, falling 8.3 per cent, while Royal Dutch Shell dropped 3.7 per cent. Both felt the effect of the drop in oil prices towards the end of the year but the average price of crude in 2006 was still almost 17 per cent higher than in 2005. BP was beset by problems in the US, including the fatal explosion at its Texas City refinery in March last year, an oil spill in Alaska in March and delays to the opening of the flagship Thunder Horse project in the Gulf of Mexico.

The above are extracts…

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