Banks lead FTSE 100 higher; airlines hit by Lufthansa warning

Banks lead FTSE 100 higher; airlines hit by Lufthansa warning
FILE PHOTO: Financial traders work at their desks at CMC Markets in the City of London, Britain, April 11, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls -
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(Reuters) – London’s main stock index inched higher on Monday in line with marginal gains across Europe, as rises in banking shares outweighed the impact of a profit warning from Germany’s Lufthansa on airlines.

The FTSE 100 index <.FTSE> was up 0.1% by 0721 GMT, while the FTSE 250 midcap index <.FTMC> gained 0.2%.

With all eyes on Wednesday’s U.S. Federal Reserve policy decision, the banking index <.FTNMX8350> broke a four-day losing streak, led by Asia-exposed banks including HSBC <HSBA.L> and Standard Chartered after Hong Kong’s leader backed down over an extradition bill that has sparked mass protests. [nL4N23N00J]

British Airways owner IAG <ICAG.L> and easyJet <EZJ.L> both gave up around 3% on the main bourse after Lufthansa <LHAG.DE> cut its 2019 profit outlook due to competition from low-cost rivals in Europe. [nL8N23O0J4]

Mid-cap component Wizz Air <WIZZ.L> also dropped 4.4%.

Engineering services group Babcock <BAB.L> added 3.5% after the company confirmed a media report that it had received and rejected a highly preliminary takeover bid from rival Serco <SRP.L> earlier this year. [nL4N23O1H5]

(Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham)

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