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FTSE 100 Struggles For Direction After Windfall Tax Announcement

U.K. stocks fluctuated on Friday, with oil and gas stocks coming under selling pressure after Boris Johnson's government said it would impose a windfall tax on the profits of oil and gas companies to finance one-off grants of £650 to more than 8 million of the poorest households in the U.K.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak did not rule out applying a similar levy to power generators, but said more work needs to be done on the idea.

The benchmark FTSE 100 was marginally higher at 7,565 after closing 0.6 percent higher on Thursday.

BP Plc fell 1.2 percent and Shell was down 0.8 percent after the government announced a 25 percent windfall tax on oil and gas producers' profits.

Power generators such as SSE, Centrica, and Drax lost 3-5 percent.

GlaxoSmithKline fell about 1 percent. The company said its cervical cancer drug has been approved in China as a two-dose vaccine as protection against two forms of the human papillomavirus.

Miners Anglo American, Antofagasta and Glencore all rose about 2 percent as copper and iron ore prices rose boosted by a weaker dollar.

Workspace Group advanced 1.5 percent after saying it has received unsolicited indications of interest from a number of parties for the acquisition of the entire portfolio of light industrial assets formerly owned by McKay.

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