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BP gains on Royal Dutch Shell bid talk

By David Brett

LONDON, Dec 14 (Reuters) – Gains in energy stocks offset falling miners, leaving Britain’s top share index almost level on Tuesday, with BP the top riser on vague market talk of bid interest from Royal Dutch Shell.

By 1156 GMT the FTSE 100 .FTSE was 1.15 points higher at 5,861.90 in light trade, after rising 0.8 percent on Monday to its highest close since Nov. 9.

BP rose 2.3 percent, with traders citing talk of potential bid interest from Royal Dutch Shell. Both companies chose not to comment.

The oil major was also helped by a bullish note from Credit Suisse, which raised its forecasts for oil prices in 2011 and reiterated that BP is its top pick in the sector.

BP said it had agreed to sell a portfolio of oil and gas assets in Pakistan for $775 million, higher than analyst estimates, as it raises cash to pay for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.


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