Markets: BSA’s take-off fails to give FTSE a lift

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NEWS that British Airways owner IAG had struck a deal to buy runway slots from Aer Lingus helped it top the blue chip risers’ board yesterday.

The airline group also benefited after the threat of industrial action at its Spanish business diminished. Its shares added more than 3 per cent at 179.5p.

However, bad news from other top flight firms, including a profit warning from Glasgow-based Aggreko, put the FTSE 100 Index on the back foot. It ended 9.6 points lower at 5,912.2 after positive hints from the US politicians involved in negotiations to avoid the “fiscal cliff” helped it narrow earlier losses.

Alastair McCaig, market analyst at IG, said: “By the time the market opened, the negativity from Aggreko’s announcement and lacklustre European markets had taken their toll. This resulted in the FTSE spending all day in the red.”

Aggreko had a torrid day, losing 21 per cent of its value as shares plunged to 1,664p after it highlighted a likely slump in demand for temporary power next year.

Energy services firm Wood Group also featured on the fallers board, as investors continued to be cautious following a less than enthusiastic update last week. Its shares dropped 13.5p to 720.5p.

NEW YORK: Wall Street climbed last night, giving the Standard & Poor’s 500 index its best day since 23 November, on rising hopes that negotiations over the “fiscal cliff” were making progress and that a deal could be reached in days.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 100.38 points, or 0.76 percent, to finish on 13,235.39 while the S&P 500 closed up 16.81 points, or 1.19 per cent, at 1,430.39.