How to trade BP

Learn all about BP, with information on the company’s history and share price journey, its share trading hours, and how to trade BP shares with Capital.com.

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What is BP?

BP is a UK-based oil and gas company and one of the world’s largest energy companies. Headquartered in London, it operates in all areas of the oil and gas industry, including exploration, production, refining, distribution, and marketing. The company also invests significantly in renewable energy sources like wind power and solar technology as part of its commitment to transitioning to more sustainable energy sources. BP has operations in several countries and is known for its significant reserves and production capabilities, as well as for being a leader in the energy sector.

In the 2023 fiscal year, the company’s revenue amounted to some $210.1bn.

What is the BP share price history?

The BP share price history starts with its listing on the London Stock Exchange in 1954. The company’s mid-20th century growth was driven by a post-war economic recovery and subsequent growth of the oil industry. BP expanded through acquisitions and extending its exploration into Alaska and the North Sea. The 1970s oil crisis led to soaring oil prices, benefiting the company’s revenue and share price, and the 1980s saw diversification into coal, minerals and alternative energies. 

In more recent times, the early 2000s saw an economic slowdown that impacted sectors including energy. However, prices stabilised in line with a global recovery, but the share price tanked again when demand slumped during the 2008 financial crisis, moving below £380 in October that year from around £630 in May. A bigger shock to the share price was to come with the Deepwater Horizon spill, an environmental disaster that caused huge reputational damage, as well as legal liabilities and large cleanup costs. The event caused the share price to fall from around £650 in April pre event, to below £300 in June. 

Following the oil spill, BP's shares slowly recovered, aided by strategic divestments and a focus on restructuring its operations. The company sold many assets to cover the liabilities from the spill and focused on more profitable ventures. In recent years though, the Covid-19 pandemic saw the price of oil devastated as worldwide demand slumped amid global lockdowns. Such was the lack of demand that in April 2020, the oil price even went negative, causing the BP share price to dip below £300 from a high of over £500 at the beginning of the year. 

Since the pandemic, the company has seen shares gradually rise again as a strategic shift towards renewables, a rebound in oil prices, and corporate restructuring to streamline operations all helped demand for the company’s stock.

(Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results)

What factors might affect the BP live share price?

The BP live share price can be impacted by a range of key sector-specific fundamental events. Here are a few of the main factors that traders should watch out for.  

  • Oil prices: as a major player in the oil and gas industry, BP's financial performance is closely tied to the price of crude oil and natural gas. Higher oil prices typically drive up BP's revenues and profits, thereby potentially boosting its share price. Conversely, a drop in oil prices can reduce earnings and depress the share price. If geopolitical tensions in oil-producing regions escalate, leading to a decrease in supply, oil prices might surge, likely pushing BP's share price higher as well.

  • Regulatory environment: changes in environmental regulations, especially those related to carbon emissions and climate change, can significantly impact BP. Stricter regulations could increase operational costs or force the company to invest heavily in compliance initiatives. New policies requiring lower carbon emissions could necessitate substantial capital expenditures to upgrade equipment or develop cleaner technologies, potentially straining profits and affecting the share price negatively in the short term.

  • Technological advancements: innovations in renewable energy and electric vehicle technologies could disrupt traditional oil demand. BP's ability to adapt to these changes and invest in new technologies is crucial. If BP’s investment in renewable energy projects demonstrates potential for future profitability, its share price might rise as investors see a viable transition path away from fossil fuels.

  • Company performance and strategy: earnings reports, changes in leadership, mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures all influence investor perception and can lead to changes in the share price. Announcements of successful strategic acquisitions or divestitures of non-performing assets can create positive sentiment among investors, leading to a rise in share price. Conversely, events like negative PR, poor revenue performance or a downturn in the wider industry are common factors that may cause the price to fall. 

  • Economic conditions: economic indicators such as GDP growth rates, employment data, and consumer spending influence energy demand. A robust economy typically signals higher energy consumption, which could boost BP’s profitability and vice versa.

What are the BP stock trading hours?

The BP stock trading hours are Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm (UK time).

If you choose to trade CFDs, you can follow the BP stock performance live in USD with the comprehensive BP share price chart.

Monitoring the company’s activity can help you to keep an eye out for any key fundamental or technical events that may affect short-term movements in the share value.

How to trade BP shares with CFDs

If you want to take a position on BP shares, you have two options. First, you can buy physical shares in the company through the exchange on which it’s listed. In this case, investing in BP stock means you will own a share, or shares, in the company. This can be considered a long-term investment, as you’re hoping for the price to rise over time.

Alternatively, you can trade a derivative product such as a contract for difference (CFD) on the underlying BP stock market price, and speculate on its price movements without actually owning the asset. A CFD is a financial contract, typically between a broker and a trader, where one party agrees to pay the other the difference in the value of a security, between the opening and closing of the trade.

Unlike physical share ownership, you can either hold a long position (speculating that the price will rise) or a short position (speculating that the price will fall). This is considered a short-term investment or trade, as CFDs tend to be used within shorter timeframes.

The key difference between buying physical BP shares and trading through a derivative is the leverage that is employed with the latter. CFDs are typically traded on margin, which means that a trader has exposure to larger positions with a relatively small outlay. This amplifies the potential profits, but also the potential losses, making leveraged trading risky. You can learn how to trade shares in our comprehensive guide to shares trading.

To trade BP stock CFDs with us, just sign up for a Capital.com account, and once you’re verified, you can use our advanced web platform or download our intuitive yet easy-to-use app. It’ll take just a few minutes to get started and access the world’s most-traded markets.

Why trade BP CFDs with Capital.com?

Trading BP CFDs with Capital.com means you’ll enjoy an intuitive, easy-to-use platform, 24/7 support, fair and transparent pricing, along with award-winning education to help build your experience in the markets.* You can seamlessly integrate our smart platform with elite third-party software TradingView and MT4, and refine your strategies with our risk-free demo. 

*Awarded best-in-class for education at ForexBrokers.com’s 2024 Annual Awards

FAQs

Who owns BP?

The ownership of BP as of 2024 comprises institutions such as State Street Corp, Arrowstreet Capital, Fisher Investments, and Morgan Stanley.

What is the price of BP shares today?

The price of BP shares today is dependent on market conditions. If you’re trading this stock, it’s important to check out the BP chart frequently to keep on top of price movements, as well as retain a strong understanding of the fundamental and technical influences that can cause the price to shift.

What market is BP listed on?

BP has been listed on the London Stock Exchange since its IPO in 1954.

How to buy shares in BP?

Those planning to buy shares in BP have the option to buy and own the physical share through means such as a stockbroker or investing platform, with the goal to buy low and sell high. Alternatively, derivatives such as CFDs, can give you leveraged exposure to the underlying price without ownership.However, leverage is risky as both profits and losses are magnified.

Is BP stock a good buy?

Whether BP is a good stock to buy depends on risk tolerance, trading strategies, and market conditions. Technical indicators such as the RSI or MACD may help make sense of historical price action and develop your technical analysis skills. Meanwhile, a knowledge of fundamental factors like competitive standing, earnings releases, and the regulatory landscape are all essential to gain a handle on the fundamental drivers of price.

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