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Ryanair alert stalls travel stocks
Airline and travel shares stalled on the stock market after low-cost carrier Ryanair issued its second profits warning in as many months.
The Dublin-based firm warned its average fare for the current quarter was likely to be down by 9% as it attempts to stimulate demand with cut-price deals.
Investors in the sector were spooked by the update, though the wider FTSE 100 Index continued to gain altitude - up 28.9 points to 6763.6.
The mood of the wider market was helped by figures from China showing the fastest growth in the services sector in the world's second largest economy in 13 months.
That boosted demand prospects in the commodity sector and meant a number of mining stocks featured at the top of the FTSE 100 risers board, topped by Fresnillo, up 43.5p to 1001p, and Rio Tinto, climbing 105.5p to 3289.5p.
Markets in Europe were also up but there was a more cautious mood on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat despite comments by a US Federal Reserve official suggesting it was in no hurry to pull back from quantitative easing.
Currency trading saw sterling flat against the greenback at 1.60 US dollars and also unmoved against the euro at 1.18 euros.
In London, banking giant HSBC was among the risers after it announced a 10% improvement in underlying third quarter profits to 5.05 billion US dollars (£3.2 billion) for the third quarter of the financial year.
It said its home markets of the UK and Hong Kong contributed more than half of the total haul. HSBC shares were 15.7p higher to 703p.
But Royal Bank of Scotland continued to decline in the wake of Friday's warning that it will make a significant loss this year on the back of its bad bank restructuring. RBS shares fell 8.3p to 331.7p, having declined by 8% prior to the weekend.
Easyjet was the largest faller in the FTSE 100, off 5%, or 66p, to 1230p. British Airways owner International Airlines Group dropped 2.1p to 351.8p.
Ryanair was down by nearly 13% in Dublin after it said its profits for the year to March 31 may dip to as low as 500 million euro (£423.3 million), from the 569 million euro achieved a year earlier.
Tour operator Thomas Cook declined 5p to 139.5p in the FTSE 250 Index in London.
Back in the top flight, G4S shares were lower after the company confirmed that the Serious Fraud Office has launched an investigation into a contract between the security giant and the Government for tagging criminals.
The company, which is about to set out its turnaround plans to investors in a presentation, fell 0.8p to 254p.
Meanwhile pumps and valves firm Weir lost nearly 4% or 83p to 2173p, after cutting its full-year revenues guidance due to project delivery delays.
The biggest FTSE 100 risers were Fresnillo, up 43.5p to 1001p, Rio Tinto up 105.5p to 3289.5p, CRH up 48p to 1553p and Antofagasta up 26.5p to 863.5p.
The biggest FTSE 100 fallers were easyJet down 66p to 1230p, Weir down 83p to 2173p, Meggitt off 15.1p at 493.9p and Royal Bank of Scotland down 8.3p to 331.7p.