London Markets: Shell stars after cost-cutting plan as FTSE 100 slumps

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Reuters

The logo of Royal Dutch Shell is seen at a petrol station in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, Belgium.

Royal Dutch Shell was the star of a drab U.K. stock market on Monday after the energy giant released its plan to scale back spending.

Shares of Shell RDSA, +4.71%  surged 5% as the energy giant said it would cut up to $4 billion in operating costs in moves that should save it $9 billion of cash before tax. Shell also is suspending its stock buyback program once it completes its current tranche and said the timing of its $10 billion divestment program was up to market conditions.

Kingfisher KGF, +14.19%  was another gainer, as the owner of B&Q said like-for-like sales in February accelerated to 2.3%. Its 221 French and 28 Spanish stores are temporarily closed. In the third week of March, U.K. and Irish like-for-like sales shot up 37.7% while falling 97.2% in France.

U.K. television broadcaster ITV ITV, -4.37%   slumped 11%. It cut its program budget by at least £100 million and suspended its dividend as part of a plan to retain more than £300 million of cash.

The FTSE 100 UK:ITV  more broadly slumped over 3% and has dropped 33% this year. The U.K. on Friday ordered pubs and restaurants closed as government ministers said more measures may be taken to limit the spread of coronavirus.

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