Ryanair upgrade boosts airline shares, but FTSE falls

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Last Updated at 16 Mar 2018, 16:36 GMT *Chart shows local time FTSE 100 intraday chart
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(Close): Airline shares were boosted after Ryanair raised its profit forecast, but the lift did not prevent the FTSE 100 from closing 0.9% lower.

Ryanair said full-year profit would now be between €750m and €770m, compared with its previous forecast of €650m, and its shares rose 7.3%.

Easyjet shares rose 2.7%, while British Airways owner IAG climbed 1.3%.

However, bank and energy shares pulled the FTSE 100 lower, and the index closed down 58.50 points at 6487.97.

Shares in HSBC fell 1.7% after the bank reported its third-quarter results, with pre-tax profits up to $4.6bn from $4.5bn a year ago.

However, the bank set aside $378m (£237m) to cover a probe into currency trading, and has taken another provision of $589m for potential further PPI mis-selling claims.

"Stripping out the regulatory provisions, this is a strong operating quarter for HSBC," said Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers.

"Unfortunately, the provisions cannot be ignored and the ongoing costs of PPI and the forex investigations are also joined by an additional US booking."

In the energy sector, British Gas owner Centrica fell 2.3% while SSE dropped 2%.

On the currency markets, the pound fell 0.1% against the dollar to $1.5979 but rose 0.24% against the euro to €1.2802.