TUESDAY MARKET CLOSE: Shares in RBS recover to finish ahead

Shares in state-backed Royal Bank of Scotland survived a choppy session unscathed after the Treasury’s discounted sale of a 5.4 per cent chunk of the lender.

Shares in state-backed Royal Bank of Scotland survived a choppy session. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

The £2.1 billion disposal saw the stock slip by more than 2 per cent at one stage to reach the offer price of 330p but it later recovered its poise to finish ahead on the day, up 1.44p at 339p.

It came as the wider market was little changed on a quiet trading day with the FTSE 100 index ending just 2.05 points lower at 6686.57.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The top-flight risers’ board was led by Meggitt, up 8 per cent after half-year results showing pre-tax profits up 6 per cent to £152m at the engineering group, which specialises in the aerospace, defence and energy sectors.

Investors were cheered as the group said revenue growth for the full year would be in line with previous guidance. Shares added 36.8p to 501p.

At the other end of the table, drugs firm Shire fell 6 per cent after it disclosed details of a $30 billion US dollar approach to buy US rival Baxalta. Shire’s stock fell 335p to 5,395p.

Elsewhere, builders’ merchant and DIY group Travis Perkins was also lower despite its first-half operating profit excluding property transactions rising by 9 per cent to £182m.

The Wickes owner, whose fortunes are closely linked to the UK property market, said a fall in mortgage approvals in mid-2014 had fed through to hit repair and maintenance markets in the second quarter of this year. Shares fell 43p to 2,217p.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 index included Smiths Group up 51p at 1,200p and Old Mutual up 6p at 219.2p.

The biggest fallers included ARM Holdings down 45p to 948.5p.