The deal to curb Iran’s nuclear programme helped sentiment on world markets as the risk of war in the oil-rich nation receded.
In London, the FTSE 100 was up 20.32 points at 6,694.62, while New York’s tech-focused Nasdaq broke 4,000 for the first time since the dot.com bubble burst.
Alastair McCaig, market analyst at IG, said: “The Iranian nuclear accord has helped see oil prices drop, with the most obvious beneficiaries being the airlines. International Airlines Group appears to be best placed to cut costs judging by its share price movement.”
BA parent IAG topped the blue-chip risers’ board with a gain of 2.8 per cent, adding 10p at 372.8p. EasyJet also got a lift, up 29p at 1,434p.
On the flip side, oil companies were among a small group of stocks in the red, with Tullow Oil down 12.5p at 874.5p and Royal Dutch Shell 8p lower at 2,097p. But energy services firm Petrofac was in demand after its joint venture with Korea’s Daelim Industrial won a $2.1 billion (£1.3bn) contract. Its shares gained 21p at 1,212p.
Engineering services company Babcock International was the biggest top flight faller after it confirmed talks over a potential joint venture deal with search and rescue helicopters firm Avincis. The shares were 41p lighter at 1,284p, a drop of 3 per cent.
In the FTSE 250, defence products firm Chemring jumped 11 per cent as it mulled the sale of a number of its business units. The company also highlighted some of its market-leading positions and non-defence opportunities that it has yet fully to exploit, helping shares to add 18.6p at 213p.
Thomas Cook was also higher, up 3.2p to 151.6p after it agreed the sale of specialist activity tour operator Neilson for £9.1 million.