Royal Mail move bolsters FTSE 100

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FTSE 100 Index

Last Updated at 07 Feb 2018, 11:16 GMT *Chart shows local time FTSE 100 intraday chart
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(Close): After falling in morning trade, the FTSE 100 closed higher, helped by a strong performance from Royal Mail shares.

Royal Mail rose 5.3% to 467.70p following news that Dutch firm PostNL had scrapped plans to expand its Whistl delivery service in the UK.

By the end of the day, the FTSE 100 was up 14.35 points at 6,960.63.

Royal Bank of Scotland shares fell 3.2% after the bank reported a first-quarter loss of £446m.

The loss followed an £856m provision for "litigation and conduct charges", as well as £453m for restructuring costs.

Shares in British Airways owner IAG fell 2.5%, despite the airline group reporting a first-quarter profit of €25m.

But there was better news for oil giant Royal Dutch Shell. Its shares went up by more than 1% after its first quarter profits fell by less than expected.

The company said underlying first-quarter profits fell 56% from a year earlier to $3.2bn (£2.1bn), but analysts had been predicting a figure of $2.5bn.

Increased profit margins at Shell's refinery business helped to counter lower oil prices.

In the FTSE 250, shares in property website Zoopla jumped 16.2% after it said it had agreed to buy price comparison website uSwitch for £160m.

On the currency markets, the pound fell 0.62% against the dollar to $1.5343 and fell 1.1% against the euro to €1.3723.