NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of BP ( BP) have opened higher on Tuesday morning, with BP shares, which were up by more than 6% in pre-market trading, opening at $31.02, or more than 5.3% higher than their Friday closing price.

Market optimism for BP shares led last week to the British oil giant's biggest five-day gain since the oil spill crisis began on April 20.

BP shares closed Friday above $29, at $29.35, a gain of more than $2 for the week headed into the July 4 holiday.

In London trading on Tuesday, BP shares were up close to 3%.

When fears intensified on June 25 about Hurricane Alex forcing BP to abandon its oil spill containment effort, BP shares slid to a 52-week, oil-spill low (as well as a new 14-year low) at $27. As it became clear last week that Hurricane Alex would not hit the BP oil spill containment effort directly, at least one pressure point was removed from the BP share value, leading to last week's gains. The weekly gain had BP shares up roughly 7%.

The week of May 24 to May 28, BP ended the week slightly higher than its Monday opening price, the only other week during the oil spill crisis during which BP shares have edged higher, according to Google Finance historical share price data.

On Tuesday, BP categorically denied the latest market speculation that it would issue new shares as a way to raise capital to shore up its balance sheet. There were additional reports that BP was seeking investment from sovereign wealth funds as a way to bolster its war chest to fight takeover attempts by energy sector rivals seeking to make a play for a weakened BP.

Among the nations reportedly interested in a stake in BP are Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Qatar and Singapore. Singapore already holds a stake of less than 1% in BP shares.

Royal Bank of Scotland upgraded BP from hold to buy on Monday.

The news wasn't all positive for BP on Day 78 of the oil spill. Tar balls hit Texas beaches for the first time, making it the fifth state to be hit by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

In a report that added to the uncertainty over BP's fate, the British government is reportedly making contingency plans for a BP failure.

-- Written by Eric Rosenbaum from New York.


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