MONDAY MARKET CLOSE: Airlines dive after broker comments

British Airways owner IAG slipped 3.5 per cent. Picture: PA
British Airways owner IAG slipped 3.5 per cent. Picture: PA
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Airlines EasyJet and IAG were grounded at the bottom of the fallers’ board after negative broker comment on the industry.

Bank of America downgraded its outlook for EasyJet and slashed its price target, citing rising fuel costs and recent profit warnings from sector peers for its more pessimistic outlook on the sector.

EasyJet shares were down 6.5 per cent or 94p at 1,365p, while British Airways owner IAG slipped 3.5 per cent to 370.5p.

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC, said: “EasyJet shares have now slid more than 20 per cent from their April peaks, but these falls do need to be set in the context of a rise since 2012 of over 200 per cent.”

The airlines’ losses ensured the FTSE 100 was also flying a little lower, down 13.83 points at 6,743.94.

Elsewhere on the blue chip fallers’ board, shares in Sports Direct International were down more than 2 per cent - off 17p to 706.5p - after it was forced to deny that it planned a takeover offer for shoe retailer Office.

The chain is also thought to be facing defeat by shareholders over a third attempt to secure a bonus scheme for founder Mike Ashley.

Marks & Spencer fell 6.7p to 425.2p after broker Shore Capital warned that next week’s trading update from the chain was unlikely to show a shift in momentum in the company’s turnaround plans.

It came as the high street stalwart increased the pressure on directors by holding them accountable for profits in their respective divisions.

Aberdeen Asset Management was among the risers as analysts at Barclays reiterated their positive recommendation and said that the shares had the potential to rise 15 per cent. The stock added a more modes 6.5p at 453.9p.