Rolls-Royce and airline share price falls put FTSE in a spin

Trouble in the skies and a reduction in the World Bank’s global forecast and a couple of companies going ex-dividend yesterday brought the FTSE down.

The FTSE 100 closed down 34.68 points at 6,838.87, a fall of 0.50 per cent.

The cancellation of Emirates Airlines’ major order for 70 new Airbus A350s hit shares of engineer Rolls-Royce, whose order book is to reduce by 3.5 per cent or £2.6bn as a result. The aircraft engine maker’s shares ended the day on 1,017p, a fall of 5.48 per cent.

Airline groups IAG (400p, a drop of 3.05 per cent) and EasyJet (1,530p, down 3.95 per cent) also fell sharply after German peer Lufthansa plummeted in Frankfurt following the news that it would not hit profit guidance for the next two years.

Meanwhile, a number of stocks were trading lower today after going ex-dividend, including heavyweights Vodafone (199.40p, a fall of 4.52 per cent) and Johnson Matthey (3,247p, down 1.31 per cent).

Meanwhile, the World Bank has downgraded its forecast for global economic growth, seeing the economy expanding 2.8 per cent this year, down from a January prediction of 3.2 per cent. The organisation projected slower growth for the US, Russia, China, Brazil and India. It left forecasts for world growth in 2015 unchanged at 3.4 per cent.

However, there were some gainers yesterday. Mining group Randgold Resources was a top performer, carried on the back of a recovering gold price. It ended the day on 4,482p, up 1.7 per cent, and Mexican precious metals miner Fresnillo rose 0.63 per cent to 792.5p

J Sainsbury was also higher after coming in slightly ahead of expectations with a 1.1 per cent first-quarter fall in like-for-like retail sales, excluding fuel.

Outgoing chief executive Justin King blamed the fall on lower food price inflation and reduced fuel prices for the group’s second straight quarterly drop in sales. The retailer ended the day on 333p, a rise of almost one per cent.

But brewer SABMiller was lower as the stock pulled back after an M&A-inspired boost yesterday when it was reported that a merger with European peer Anheuser-Busch InBev could be on the cards. The company ended on 3,395p, a fall of 1.88 per cent.

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