FTSE 100 index opens higher, led by British Land and Smiths Group, despite further losses by Easyjet

James Nickerson
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Smiths Group led the FTSE 100 higher (Source: Getty)
he FTSE 100 opened higher this morning, following rallies in both the US and Asia. The UK's top blue-chip index was 1.16 per cent up at 6,217 points as the market opened.

British Land's share price rose 1.89 per cent to 835.5p, after the company reported higher than expected growth in the value of its assets. Underlying pre-tax profit was also up 10.3 per cent to £171m.

Smiths Group led the pack, rising 5.78 per cent as the market opened to 979.75p per share. The engineering company today announced that sales declined four per cent in the first quarter, and said its expectations for the full-year remained unchanged, against a challenging backdrop.

Read more: EasyJet hikes dividend as profits reach record highs

However, while Easyjet today gave its shareholders a 22 per cent hike in dividends on the back of solid growth for its full year, its share price fell 3.08 per cent on opening to 1,727.5p per share. Yesterday the airline's share price fell 0.73 per cent after investors contemplated the Paris attacks.

However, the effects of the attacks in Paris on Friday receded yesterday after tourism-related stocks took the FTSE 100 lower on opening.

"While Friday’s shocking events in Paris acted as a little bit of a cloud on European markets yesterday, the negative reaction was largely confined to the travel and leisure sector and some retail stocks, as investors worried about the possible effects to consumer confidence and spending in the lead-up to Christmas," said Michael Hewson, an analyst at CMC Markets.

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In the FTSE 250 Entertainment One, which makes kids' TV sensation Peppa Pig, reported a staggering 654 per cent rise in pre-tax profit in the six months to September. Its share price rose 1.02 per cent to 227.45p per share.

Enterprise Inns, meanwhile, posted a £65m loss for the full year, down from a profit of £30m last year. However, its share price rose four per cent as the market opened to 99.08p per share.

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