FTSE 100 falls as easyjet descends, BT shares take off

The FTSE 100 dipped on Thursday as poor results from easyjet and Sage disappointed investors and offset a surge higher in BT.

London’s leading index was down 0.3% at 0.36% at the time of writing.

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The decline in London’s flagship index is against the grain of a strong US session overnight after US CPI signalled a goldilocks scenario for stocks, and upbeat news from the Chinese property sector.

“After a sparkling session on Wall Street last night amid hopes that the latest inflation data raises the chances of a US interest rate cut, European markets didn’t share the joy. The FTSE 100, Dax, CAC 40 and IBEX 35 were all down in early trading amid mixed corporate news,” says Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

“The FTSE 100 was dragged down by weakness in Shell and BP, and Sage slumping 8% after trimming its annual revenue guidance.”

BT was the FTSE 100’s top riser after announcing an increase in revenue for the full year and surprising investors with a dividend hike. The group has cut the dividend in recent years, and for the telecoms firm to increase payouts to investors wasn’t on the cards.

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BT shares were 10% higher in mid-morning trade.

Easyjet

The market would have had high hopes for easyjet amid a boom in travel demand but were evidently disappointed with a an interim report that revealed a headline loss before tax of £350m. Airlines typically lose money in the first half of the year and rely on summer bookings for profitability.

Although the group said they were positive about summer bookings, this didn’t translate into investors positivity and shares were down 6% at the time of writing.

EasyJet’s half year results indicate the company is making headway, albeit slowly. The winter period, which is always a case of damage limitations for the budget airliner, has been less severe, with EasyJet reporting a £61m reduction in losses for the period,” said Mark Crouch, analyst at investment platform eToro.

“EasyJet’s newest bases, Birmingham and Alicante, are achieving passenger numbers well above the network average and a tenth UK base at London Southend has been announced.”

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