MARKET CLOSE: Tui rising amid falling FTSE

EARNINGS prospects for travel giant Tui lifted it to the top of the blue-chip risers’ board as the wider FTSE 100 Index fell for the second session in a row.

The London Stock Exchange building. Picture: Getty

The Thomson and First Choice owner rose almost 3 per cent after it said in a trading update that it was confident of delivering underlying profit growth of 10 to 15 per cent for the year to November.

The FTSE 100 Index fell 28.71 points to 6990.97, following a recent six-day winning streak that had seen it surpass the 7,000 landmark, but was brought to an end with a negative session on Tuesday.

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Tui’s stand-out performance among stocks in London came after an update in which it said winter 2014-15 closed as expected, with higher average selling prices in most markets. Shares rose 31p to 1,214p.

Meanwhile, shares in FTSE 250 construction firm Balfour Beatty rose almost 6 per cent despite its slump to a £304 million pre-tax loss and cancellation of its final dividend, as new boss Leo Quinn warned of “major short-term challenges”.

Balfour also announced a fresh £118m write-down on its UK construction business to add to the £Tui soars above falling Footsie hit disclosed in January.

Roger Johnston, analyst at Edison Investment Research, said: “While the turnaround in performance will not be easy to achieve, we believe that Quinn’s track record and no-nonsense approach will drag the business with him.”

The shares rose 12.8p to 244p.

In other corporate news, the AA said annual pre-tax profits fell 68 per cent to £60.8m in the year to the end of January as finance costs rose.

But it also announced a £935m financing, including a £200m share placement, that it said would save it £45m a year. Shares fell 1.9p to 425.2p.