FTSE falls back but airlines soar after Osborne’s tax cut - London Report

LONDON’S top share index edged down from a one-week high yesterday, with moves in stocks ex­posed to measures announced in the Autumn Statement dominating in an otherwise quiet session.

The blue chip FTSE 100 index closed down 0.4 per cent at 6,716.63 points.

Large-cap airlines easyJet, up 2.46 per cent at 1,668p, and British Airways and Iberia owner International Consolid­ated Airline Group, a gain of 2.87 per cent to 473.49p, improved after chancellor George Osborne announced that air-passenger duty for children was being scrapped.

But blue chips struggled, hindered by another drop in Royal Mail. It fell 1.8 per cent to 398p, extending the previous session’s three per cent loss, after regulator Ofcom said late on Tuesday that it would not change rules for direct mail delivery, dashing Royal Mail’s hopes of being shielded from a rival.

Barratt Developments rose 1.75 per cent to 458.90p and Taylor Wimpey, up 1.69 per cent at 132.50p, rallied on reports that they are to join the FTSE 100 later this month.

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