(Sharecast News) – London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.6% at 6,788.85 in afternoon trade on Thursday.
Premier Inn owner Whitbread was the top gainer on the index 100 despite a downbeat update in which it warned of a “challenging” trading environment, after the latest round of lockdown restrictions caused accommodation sales to plummet by more than half.
Traders suggested the positive reaction could be down to news that Whitbread now plans to cut around 1,500 jobs from its hotel and restaurant operations, versus pervious indications that 6,000 jobs would be lost.
Shares of British Airways and Iberia parent IAG flew higher after Norwegian Air Shuttle exited the long haul market as part of its plans for recovery.
Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com, said: “This is good news for IAG, which relies on the lucrative transatlantic routes. It also shows that once the dust settles, the pandemic ought to leave some of the stronger players in even better shape with less competition than before.
“Consolidation in European short haul has been needed for a while and the pandemic is helping to get the sector to its final destination.”
Persimmon was boosted by positive comments from broker Liberum, which said it was its preferred large cap housebuilder, as it likes its exposure to lower price points, the north, first-time buyers and its strong balance sheet and dividends.
B&M European Value Retail and SSE were both weaker as their stock went ex-dividend.
FTSE 100 – Risers
Whitbread (WTB) 3,241.00p 5.92%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 161.00p 5.57%
BHP Group (BHP) 2,193.50p 3.08%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 695.60p 3.02%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 670.80p 2.80%
Persimmon (PSN) 2,678.00p 2.53%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,790.00p 2.37%
Glencore (GLEN) 283.20p 2.15%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,428.00p 2.00%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,560.50p 1.99%
FTSE 100 – Fallers
B&M European Value Retail S.A. (DI) (BME) 525.60p -4.47%
Just Eat Takeaway.Com N.V. (CDI) (JET) 8,416.00p -3.00%
Pennon Group (PNN) 954.60p -2.61%
SSE (SSE) 1,537.50p -2.47%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,584.00p -1.65%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 1,712.00p -1.55%
Auto Trader Group (AUTO) 578.40p -1.47%
Bunzl (BNZL) 2,459.00p -1.28%
Rightmove (RMV) 619.40p -1.18%
Flutter Entertainment (FLTR) 15,110.00p -1.14%