Markets: TUI rally takes FTSE a little farther

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Shares in tour operator TUI Travel staged a robust recovery yesterday following recent disappointment that its German parent had abandoned plans for a merger.

The First Choice and Thomson owner topped the blue-chip risers’ board with a bounce of almost 4 per cent to 293.1p, making good most of its losses earlier in the week.

The wider market shrugged off downbeat GDP figures at home to continue its new year rally. The FTSE-100 index closed 19.5 points higher at 6,284.5 – its highest level since 2008 and up more than 2 per cent for the week.

David Madden, market analyst at IG, said the prospect of support from the Bank of England meant recession held no fear for the Footsie.

He said: “As we look to the next quarter, the UK will either return to growth and equities will rise, or it’ll enter a triple dip recession and stocks will also rise due to the promise of quantitative easing. For the stock markets at least, it’s a strange form of win-win.”

Aberdeen Asset Management also continued its rise amid further evidence that the strong performance of the market was driving demand for funds. Charles Stanley was the latest wealth manager to report upbeat figures, following figures from St James’s Place on Thursday. Aberdeen added 9.9p at 415.4p, while Charles Stanley was up 8p at 337p.

But mining stocks were not immune from the bleak economic figures. Evraz lost 2 per cent, or 6.9p, to close 300p, while Eurasian Natural Resources was down 8.1p to 331.1p.

In the FTSE-250, EasyJet was one of the biggest risers as analysts continued to cheer the company’s better-than-expected winter trading update on Thursday. Shares matched the previous day’s rise, adding another 5 per cent to 945p.

NEW YORK: On Wall Street, the S&P 500 yesterday closed above the 1,500-points level for the first time in more than five years as strong earnings reports, including Procter & Gamble’s, helped the benchmark extend its run of gains to eight days.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 70.65 points to 13,895.98, while the S&P 500 closed 8.14 ahead at 1,502.96. The Nasdaq was up 19.33 at 3,149.71.