IAG Lifted by Pilot Pay Deal

Monday, November 25: Indices in London opened higher as investor hopes grew on further progress with respect to the ongoing China-US trade dispute as The Global Times, a tabloid ran by the Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, reported both sides were very close to a “phase one” trade deal. A slew of retail, financial and commodity/mining stocks helped the FTSE 100(+0.95%) into the green at the start of the day, with the latter and HSBC buoyed as US national security advisor Robert O’Brian corroborated that tensions between the US and China were thawing.

IAG(+1.91%) crept higher after British Airways and its pilots union BALPA reached a preliminary agreement to end the pay dispute that resulted in the first walk-out by pilots in the airline’s history. The British Airline Pilots Association asked crew to back a new deal with BA that links an earlier 11.5% salary increase over three years to inflation. Pilots struck for the first time in 40 years at BA after failing to agree pay & conditions, with the 48-hour walkout costing its parent company IAG c. $171m whilst disrupting 1,700 flights for almost 200,000 passengers.

Restaurant Group(-8.84%)noted its recent acquisition Wagamama continues to outperform the market but with a weakened performance from that seen in Q1, alerting investors and pushing the stock into the red. The FTSE 250 casual dining business bought Asian chain Wagamama a year ago for £357m, and saw sales in Q2 rise 11% year-on-year to £93.5m. However, LFL numbers slipped to 6.3% in Q2 from 12.9% in Q1 this year, prompting Wagamama CEO Emma Woods to warn on prospects for 2020 trading.

European equities were higher at the close, with the FTSE 100 +0.95%, the CAC 40 +0.60% and the DAX 30 +0.66%.

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