(Reuters) – Oil stocks led Britain’s FTSE 100 higher on Friday, but trading was muted as the U.S. corporate earnings season began. A plunge in revenue took down mid-cap online trading platform Plus500 and its peers.
The FTSE 100 was up 0.1 percent and the FTSE 250 was 0.1 percent lower by 0739 GMT.
Plus500 slumped more than 41 percent and was on track for its worst day ever after lower trading volumes caused its first-quarter revenue to plummet.
IG Group fell and CMC Markets dropped 5.2 percent.
Oil majors Shell and BP were the biggest boosts to the main index as oil prices rose. But Johnson Matthey lost 1.8 percent after an Investec downgrade and British American Tobacco fell 1.6 percent.
Mid-cap Pets At Home tumbled 13.6 percent, on course for its biggest one-day loss ever, after Canada Pension Plan Investment Board agreed to sell its holding in the company, almost 11 percent of the shares.
Expectations for the U.S. earnings season were low, said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson. “The global economic outlook continues to look a little on the soft side, even without this week’s IMF growth downgrades,” he said.
However, China reported on Friday that March exports rose more than expected and imports declined more than expected.
(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong and Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru, editing by Larry King)