(Alliance News) - Stock prices in London opened higher on Tuesday after the long holiday weekend, with airline operators among the best performers on hopes for a return of travel ahead of the key summer season.
The FTSE 100 index was up 59.60 points, or 0.9%, at 7,029.41 early Tuesday. The mid-cap FTSE 250 index was up 124.63 points, or 0.6%, at 22,622.00. The AIM All-Share index was down 0.2% at 1,282.82.
The Cboe UK 100 index was up 0.8% at 699.97. The Cboe 250 was up 0.7% at 20,284.81, and the Cboe Small Companies up 0.4% at 14,721.26.
In mainland Europe, the CAC 40 in Paris was up 0.5%, while the DAX 30 in Frankfurt was up 0.1%.
In the FTSE 100, International Consolidated Airlines Group was the best performer, up 3.5%, after JPMorgan upgraded the British Airways parent to Overweight from Neutral.
In addition, travel stocks were given a boost after the European Commission proposed to ease restrictions on travel to countries in the bloc amid progressing Covid-19 vaccination campaigns and lower infection rates.
Moreover, the UK government's "green list" of countries to which people can travel without having to isolate for 14 days on their return is expected to be released this week, although it is understood details are still being finalised.
Both The Times and The Guardian said destinations likely to make it onto the list for travel from May 17 include Portugal, Malta and Gibraltar, while the Telegraph said Spain, Greece and France could be added by the end of June.
In the FTSE 250, Tui and easyJet were the best performers, up 5.5% and 4.1% respectively. Elsewhere, Irish carrier Ryanair Holdings was up 1.1%, and Jet2 was 2.8% higher.
S4 Capital rose 2.5% after Martin Sorrell's ad agency said the strong rebound in global economic growth in 2021 and 2022 will drive 20% per annum growth in digital advertising, as the pandemic accelerates digital transformation.
S4 also said it delivered a strong first-quarter performance. For the first quarter to March 31, revenue rose 71% to GBP122 million from GBP71 million in the first quarter of 2020. Gross profit also increased 71% to GBP104 million from GBP60.7 million a year ago. S4 Capital raised its like-for-like gross profit growth target to 30% from 25% previously.
In addition, S4 Capital announced a the acquisition of Brazil-based Raccoon Group, which will be combined with S4's MightyHive in a move to expand the capabilities of its data and digital media practice in Latin America.
Trustpilot was up 0.9% at 315.40 pence after JPMorgan started coverage on the consumer review website at Overweight, while Morgan Stanley initiated the stock at Equal Weight.
The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was up 0.8% on Tuesday. Financial markets in Tokyo and Shanghai are closed for public holidays. The S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney closed up 0.5%.
The pound was quoted at USD1.3863 early Tuesday, higher from USD1.3827 at the London equities close Friday.
The euro was priced at USD1.2026, down from USD1.2035. Against the Japanese yen, the dollar was trading at JPY109.45, up from JPY109.26.
Brent oil was quoted at USD67.41 a barrel Tuesday morning, higher from USD67.32 late Friday. Gold was trading at USD1,787.60 an ounce, up from USD1,768.81.
The economic events calendar on Tuesday has UK manufacturing PMI at 0930 BST.
By Arvind Bhunjun; email@example.com
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