BP to buy back $1.5bn in shares as it cashes in on energy price spike

Good morning. 

Another day, another set of stellar results for an energy giant.

After Shell’s update numbers last week, BP has reported a surge in underlying profit on a replacement cost basis of $12.8bn (£9.5bn) last year. That’s up from a loss of $5.7bn in 2020 and reflects the benefits of higher oil and gas prices.

Much like its FTSE rival, BP is also focusing on returning this extra cash to shareholders. It announced a further $1.5bn in share buybacks.

But the oil giants risk becoming a victim of their own success amid growing calls for a windfall tax on energy majors as the cost-of-living crisis deepens.

5 things to start your day 

1) Used electric car sales soar ahead of petrol and diesel ban  Sales rise 119pc in 2021 while demand for plug-in hybrid vehicles jumps 75pc 

2) Household spending falls sharply as cost of living crisis grips Britain  Card transactions sink to nine-month low as inflation hits families 

3) Tech billionaire Peter Thiel to fight for Trump re-election  PayPal co-founder to depart from Facebook board after nearly two decades 

4) Taylor Wimpey picks internal candidate as new CEO in activist snub

Jennie Daly becomes the first female chief executive of a British housebuilder

5) German firms to raise prices as Scholz braces for economic shock  Inflation risks undoing country’s pandemic recovery

What happened overnight 

Asian stock markets were mixed Tuesday after Wall Street fell as investors watched for signs of whether global central banks will try to cool inflation by speeding up the withdrawal of economic stimulus.

Shanghai and Hong Kong declined. Tokyo and Sydney advanced.

In New York, the benchmark S&P 500 index sank Monday on losses for tech and communications companies.

Markets have been uneasy since Federal Reserve officials said in mid-December plans to withdraw record-low interest rates and other stimulus would be accelerated to cool inflation that is at multi-decade highs.

Coming up today

  • Corporate: Micro Focus, Ocado (Full-year results); BP, DCC, TUI (Interims); Bellway, DiscoverIE, SSE (Trading update)
  • Economics: Goods and services trade balance (US)