Business

FTSE 100 falls short of record high

Traders in London Image copyright AFP

The FTSE 100 index narrowly failed to hit a record closing high on Tuesday after a late rally stalled just short of the magic mark.

At the end of the day, the benchmark 100-share index was up 10.79 points or 0.14% at 7,542.73.

The all-time record of 7,547.63 was reached on 26 May and 2 June this year.

Paddy Power Betfair was the biggest mover, down 4.1%, after the bookmaker said it had suffered from "adverse sports results" in recent months.

On Monday, the company's shares closed down nearly 5% after it said its chief executive was to stand down.

The shares slid again on Tuesday after it released half-year results.

While profits were up, growth at its online division was hit by less favourable results and increased spending on promotions.

Another big faller was Intercontinental Hotels Group, which shed 4% after it reported a slowdown in revenue growth.

The hotel company - which owns brands such as Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and InterContinental - said its key measure of revenue per available room grew by 1.5% in the second quarter of the year, down from a rate of 2.7% in the first quarter.

Shares in Standard Life dipped 0.3% after it revealed its flagship GARS (Global Absolute Return Strategies) range of funds had seen net outflows of £5.6bn in the first half of the year.

However, the company reported a 6% rise in operating profits to £362m and said its merger with Aberdeen Asset Management was on track to be completed on 14 August.

In the FTSE 250, Pets at Home shares jumped 5.7% after it reported a 5% rise in first-quarter revenues, helped by strong demand for its veterinary and pet grooming services.

But shares in office provider IWG sank 12% after it reported a 4% drop in half-year pre-tax profits to £80.8m.

On the currency markets, the pound fell 0.38% against the dollar to $1.2967 and was flat against the euro at 1.1044 euros.