FTSE 100 Edges Higher As Airline Stocks Surge

U.K. stocks rose on Thursday, with airline stocks climbing as Ryanair said it plans to fly an extra 25 million passengers a year by 2026.

The benchmark FTSE 100 rose 36 points, or half a percent, to 7,052 after ending 0.3 percent lower on Wednesday.

Ryanair Holdings jumped 6.3 percent after the discount airline raised its traffic forecast over the next five years. EasyJet rallied 3.8 percent and British Airways owner IAG advanced 3.2 percent.

Rio Tinto fell nearly 2 percent as the mining giant issued a statement on penalty assessment by the Australian Taxation Office in connection with an isolated borrowing used to pay an intragroup dividend in 2015.

Wickes rallied 2 percent. The home improvement retailer raised its annual profit forecast after a strong first-half performance.

Rental equipment provider Ashtead Group jumped 3.6 percent after lifting its outlook for full-year performance.

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