FRIDAY MARKET CLOSE: Engine murmurs power Rolls higher

Reports that Airbus is set to upgrade its A330 with engines provided by Rolls-Royce sent the British industrial group jetting onto the FTSE 100 risers’ board.

Shares in Rolls added more than 2 per cent, up 23p at 1,069p as sources spoke of increasingly close co-operation between the two firms.

Tui Travel topped the leaderboard after announcing it will merge with its German parent company - seven years after the UK firm was created through a combination of First Choice and the holidays arm of Tui.

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Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC, said the merger had long been muted and was overdue.

“In an increasingly competitive environment it would appear that the prospect of having a slimmer management structure and lower costs has concentrated minds,” he said.

Shares in Tui Travel lifted 13.5p to 403.5p.

The FTSE 100 managed a positive end to a difficult week as housebuilders continued to make gains after the Bank of England’s relatively innocuous intervention in the mortgage market. The index added 22.65 points to end at 6,757.77.

Barratt Developments rose more than 3 per cent to 374.5p and Persimmon was up by almost 2 per cent at 1,278p.

In the FTSE 250, Redrow lifted 14.7p to 282.3p, while Bellway added 19p to 1,570p and estate agency Foxtons rose 19.3p to 302.3p.

Also in the second tier, National Express jumped almost 4 per cent or 8.9p to 256.9p after its c2c service secured the 15-year Essex Thameside rail franchise.

C2c’s victory means FirstGroup, one of the other bidders, has missed out again, having been overlooked for the recently-awarded “mega” franchise of Thames, Southern and Great Northern. Its shares were 0.4p lower at 130.1p.

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