Business

FTSE 100 takes flight after airline shares rise

Trader at ETX Capital in London Image copyright Getty Images

Shares in airlines and gold miners helped to lift London's stock market higher on Tuesday.

The FTSE 100 index finished 16.56 points, or 0.23%, higher at 7,365.50.

Mining firms Randgold and Fresnillo topped the leader board - rising more than 4% each - while shares in EasyJet finished 2.1% higher and British Airways owner IAG rose 1.9%.

Exane BNP Paribas upgraded their rating on Germany's Lufthansa, and this had a knock-on effect on UK-listed airlines.

The airlines were little moved by a 4% fall in shares for the owner of United Airlines, after the carrier was embroiled in controversy over its treatment of a passenger.

Precious metal miners benefited after investors sought out so-called safe haven assets. Gold rose 1% to $1,266.96 an ounce.

Analysts said investors were nervous about the geopolitical tensions between the United States and Russia over Syria.

FTSE 250 record

Gold miners also helped the mid-cap FTSE 250 index build on Monday's record close.

The index finished at another record - rising 0.22% to 19,306.52 - and was led by big gains for JD Sports, Balfour Beatty and mining firms Hochschild Mining and Polymetal International.

JD Sports jumped 8.2% after it said strong demand for its sportswear ranges was behind an 81% increase in pre-tax profits last year to £238.4m.

Shares in Balfour Beatty climbed 5.8% after Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgraded its rating on the company to "buy".

On the currency markets, the pound rose 0.5% against the dollar to $1.24770 and was 0.4% higher against the euro at 1.17620 euros.