Market Report: Traders already have holidays on their minds


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Easter is still a week away but traders already have holidays on their minds.

The travel sector surged yesterday, boosted by falling oil prices and a bumper set of numbers from cruise operator Carnival. Lower fuel costs boosted first- quarter revenue and sent the shares surging 217p to 3,241p on the prospect of more gains ahead.

Cheap fuel also helped the British Airways owner IAG climb 7p to 594p and easyJet rise 21p to 1,858p, the latter also benefiting from the afterglow of strong results the day before. And easyJet’s strong figures also sent InterContinental Hotels Group up 71p to 2,640p as the City mulled the prospect of more of us checking into hotels after flying.

Despite the booming travel sector, the Footsie slumped 40.31 points to 6,855.02 as a dip in oil and metal prices sent miners and oil producers falling. Anglo American shed 32.5p to 1,044p, Glencore lost 9.05p to 288.15p, Weir Group fell 63p to 1,714p and BG Group dipped 8.4p to 873.3p. Despite breaking records on Monday, the FTSE 100 now stands around 2 per cent lower than at the start of the week.

Claims from MPs that Sports Direct is being run like a “back-street outfit” understandably didn’t do wonders for investor confidence and the budget sports retailer slipped 19.5p to 621.5p.

Rumours that Shire is mulling a $65bn (£44bn) merger with America’s BioMarin Pharmaceutical, and UBS’s belief that the Irish drugmaker is sitting on three blockbuster drugs, helped it rise 130p to 5,425p.

Just Eat has been blessed with a host of positive broker notes since releasing its annual results last week, and shares have been on quite a rally. The run continued yesterday, with the online takeaway service putting on 12.3p to 421p. Just Eat has now risen more than 20 per cent since last Wednesday.

A bullish statement and director buying helped Fulcrum Utility climb 3.25p to 14.12p. Finance director Martin Harrison bought 76,538 shares at 13p each.

Management at the African oil and gas explorer Tower Resources let the air out of shares yesterday after saying they had no idea why the price had spiked. Tower closed down 0.05p at 0.22p.