BP shares are lifted by £4.9bn settlement over oil spill in Gulf

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The Independent Online

Shares in BP yesterday rose by nearly 2 per cent as the City digested the oil major's £4.9bn settlement with restaurants, fishermen, hotel owners and other businesses and individuals affected by the Gulf of Mexico disaster.

News that BP has agreed compensation with 110,000 parties hit by the Macondo blow-out in April 2010 stoked expectations that it may settle with the US Department of Justice, sending the oil giant's shares up 8.1p at 510p.

Analysts in the City said BP's final settlement with the US government could be considerably lower than the cash it has set aside.

Stuart Joyner, an oil analyst at Investec, said the agreement was "perhaps the most positive single development post the Macondo spill".

He added that it seemed "whilst uncertainty remains, it is diminishing and fast".

Peter Hutton, analyst at RBC Capital Markets, added: "There is a premium for clarity for BP, and we firmly see this deal as positive and consistent with or below the liabilities we assume in our investment case."