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Oil spill ruling hits BP shares

London - BP shares were set for their worst one-day fall on Thursday since June 2010 after a judge in the United States said the oil major had been negligent in events leading up to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP was down by 6 percent at 454.35 pence going into the close of trading in London, making the stock the worst-performer on Britain's benchmark FTSE 100 index.

BP's former CFO has died. Picture: Reuters. Credit: REUTERS

BP's drop is poised to be the worst single-day percentage fall since June 2010, a particularly volatile month for its shares which were hit by the fallout from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico earlier that year.

“Obviously the market's not taken it well and it was a little bit unexpected but you would expect BP to appeal the level of the fines, the decision made,” said Manoj Ladwa, head of trading at TJM Partners.

“It is a short-term concern, longer term BP is cash generative and I'm sure they'll have the funds to pay for this.”

The fall in BP's shares wiped some $9 billion (R96 billion) off the British company's market capitalisation. - Reuters

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