Oil giant Shell leads FTSE 100 higher

Market trader (file picture) Image copyright Getty Images

(Close): Royal Dutch Shell led the market higher after the oil giant raised its estimate of cost savings from the BG deal.

The FTSE 100 index closed up 11.13 points at 6,284.53.

Shares in Shell rose more than 3% after it said it expected $4.5bn of savings following its merger with BG, higher than its previous estimate of $3.5bn.

In a strategy update, Shell also said it was planning $30bn of asset sales over the next two years.

Energy shares were also helped as oil prices remained near seven-month highs.

Stocks in general were helped by comments from the head of the US Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, which suggested that US interest rates were unlikely to rise this month.

In the FTSE 250, shares in Esure Group, jumped 6% at first after it announced it was considering a demerger of its price comparison website Gocompare. However, its share price then slid back to stand 0.8% higher.

Shares in Sports Direct, which have slipped from 800p-plus in the past 12 months, were up 5.4% at 383.2p. Owner Mike Ashley is gave evidence to MPs over the company's heavily-criticised employment practices.

On the currency markets, the pound rebounded after new polls suggested a recovery in support for the Remain camp ahead of the EU referendum, in contrast to polls released on Monday.

After hitting a three-week low against the dollar on Monday, the pound rose by 1.5 cents, more than 1%, to $1.4591. Against the euro, it jumped one euro cent, or 0.9%, to €1.2837.