Travel stocks, positive earnings push London stocks higher

(Reuters) – London’s FTSE 100 inched higher on Tuesday as optimism about strong corporate earnings eclipsed fears over a global jump in COVID-19 cases, while Flutter Entertainment climbed after saying it expects to turn a profit in its U.S. business by 2023.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 inched 0.1% higher as gains in travel and leisure stocks were cut short by weakness in heavyweight banks as they tracked bond yields lower.

Flutter Entertainment jumped 4% to the top of the FTSE 100 even after its first-half earnings fell by 12% on a pro-forma basis as it continued to invest heavily in its fast-growing U.S. business.

Travel stocks have gained nearly 11% since the UK eased lockdown restrictions on July 19. The industry has been among the top sectoral performers so far this month on optimism for travel demand to pick up pace.

The domestically focussed mid-cap index gained 0.3%.

Among stocks, Holiday Inn-owner IHG Plc fell 0.8% even after it swung to a profit in the first half.

(Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)