Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image LONDON MARKETS: Royal Dutch Shell, BP Advance On Upgrade; FTSE 100 Higher

July 06, 2007: 12:00 PM EST

Shares of major oil companies advanced Friday in London, with Royal Dutch Shell hitting a multiyear high and rival BP gaining ground after the two got upgraded by Deutsche Bank analysts.

Miners were also making fresh highs as the trading week drew toward a close.

Broadly, London’s FTSE 100 indexclosed up 54.90 points, or 0.8%, to 6,690.10.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) saw its shares advance 2.9% to 2,115 pence, just off a session high of 2,117. The shares haven’t traded at this level for two years.

Deutsche Bank upgraded Royal Dutch Shell to buy from hold, with the broker lifting its price target to 2,375 pence ($95.82 per U.S.-listed share), up from 1,925 pence previously.

“Our price-target increases reflect our view that the risks to our long-run oil price estimate of $45/barrel are now significantly to the upside. This implies that the rate of return fade is likely to mitigate over the coming years and suggests that we are now closer to a mid-cycle return than that typical of the peak,” the broker said.

Meanwhile, shares of BP (BP) increased 1.1% to 610.50 pence as it was also upgraded to buy from hold.

In a wide-ranging sector analysis, Deutsche Bank also raised its price target for gas-exploration firm BG Group (BRG) . The firm’s shares rose 2%.

In the energy pits, an oil price of more than $71 a barrel also helped support the sector.

And outside the FTSE 100, shares of oil explorer Cairn Energygained 5.9% after a Financial Times report that the World Bank has urged India’s government to move faster on a company oil project in Rajasthan.

Other European stock indexes also finished the week in the green, staying positive after key U.S. jobs data showed healthy employment growth in the world’s largest economy.

  (END) Dow Jones Newswires
  07-06-07 1200ET
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