FTSE 100 rebounds with Easyjet leading the way

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(Close): A strong trading update from no-frills airline Easyjet helped the FTSE close comfortably higher on Thursday.

Having slumped 1.7% in the previous session, the FTSE 100 index ended up 79.75 points, or 1.24%, at 6,526.14.

Easyjet shares led the index higher, climbing 6.4% after the carrier raised its forecast for full-year profits.

It now expects full-year profit to be between £575m and £580m, up from previous guidance of £545m to £570m.

Easyjet also said it had gained passengers affected by the pilots' strike at Air France last month, with revenues boosted by about £5m.

Tesco shares dropped 3.4% following rumours on the FT's website that the supermarket giant might be considering a £3bn rights issue.

In the FTSE 250, shares in engineering firm Renishaw jumped by 5.79% after it reported a 28% rise in first quarter revenues and said the second quarter was expected to see similar growth.

UK bank Aldermore announced the price range for its shares when its lists on the stock market later this month.

It has set the price range at between 217 and 265 pence a share, giving the business a valuation of about £800m.

However, house builder and property firm Miller Group has abandoned its plans to float its housing business on the market.

In a statement it blamed "the recent financial markets volatility" for the decision.

The pound inched higher against the euro, up 0.06% to 1.27510 euros.

The dollar strengthened following a strong set of US employment figures. The pound was 1.16% lower against the dollar at $1.5957.