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Airlines help shares in London after strong showing for US peer

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Airline shares jumped on Tuesday. (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Wire)
Airline shares jumped on Tuesday. (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Wire)

Shares remained fairly flat in London for the second day running, ending slightly in the green as airline stocks took off.

The owner of British Airways, IAG, was top of the table in the FTSE 100, while its smaller peers Wizz Air and easyJet performed well on the FTSE 250.

They had been helped by the performance of American Airlines, which stuck to its sales numbers despite problems in the sector.

By the end of the day, the FTSE 100 had closed up 0.2%, or 13.27 points, ending at 7,209.86 and falling behind its peers in Europe.

The German Dax index ended the day up by 0.6%, while Paris’s Cac 40 rose 0.8%.

“It’s been another challenging day for markets in Europe with concerns over a global economic slowdown once again driving sentiment, which in turn appears to be driving a move into bonds, pushing yields lower,” said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.

“Despite these concerns, after an initially weak start to the day, we’ve spent the afternoon session pulling off the lows, with the Dax, Cac 40 and FTSE100 all looking to close the day in positive territory.”

He said that a new survey from Germany has provided worrying reading, with expectations lower than they were in March 2020, when the pandemic hit.

The so-called ZEW survey has not been this bad since the sovereign debt crisis more than a decade ago.

Oil prices were hit on Tuesday, dropping 6.6% to 100.08 dollars for a barrel of Brent crude oil.

It came amid worries over the economy, as weakness may reduce demand for energy and other natural resources.

As a result, BP and Shell were among the worst performers on the FTSE 100, with miners also acting as a drag on the index.

“We’re also seeing weakness in commercial real estate after RBC downgraded British Land, Land Securities and Hammerson due to concerns over a deteriorating economic backdrop,” Mr Hewson said.

He added: “Today’s rebound by IAG is a little counterintuitive, given the British Airways owner had been under pressure in the morning session after Heathrow Airport asked airlines to halt summer ticket sales due to its inability to cope with existing demand.

“The turnaround came about as a result of US airline American Airlines reaffirming its outlook for second quarter sales, despite the various problems facing the sector, and which gave a brief lift to other US airlines.”

The pound gained 0.14% to buy 1.1905 dollars and lost 0.01% to 1.1827 euros.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were IAG, up 6.74p to 110.42p, CocaCola HBC, up 67p to 1,928p, Melrose Industries, up 4.95p to 159.9p, Intermediate Capital Group, up 40p to 1,379.5p, and St James’s Place, up 28.5p to 1,169p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Dechra Pharmaceuticals, down 114.0p to 3,520p, Aveva Group, down 60.0p to 2,300p, BP, down 7.6p to 377.05p, Land Securities, down 12.6p to 662.4p, and British Land, down 8.3p to 454.5p.

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