FTSE 100 Live January 31: Oil price above $ 91, Bank of England under pressure on interest rates

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Ryanair bookings improve after omicron hit

Ryanair has reported a loss of 96 million euros (80 million pounds) for the December quarter after the omicron variant had a serious impact on Christmas and New Year trading.

Recent bookings have improved following the easing of travel restrictions, but the Dublin-based carrier said the booking curve is still “very late and close”.

It said ticket prices will need significant price stimulation at lower prices to quickly regain load factors in the current fourth quarter.

Ryanair’s full-year traffic forecast remains unchanged at just under 100 million passengers, but due to Covid uncertainty, the company’s expectations for net loss for the full year are broader than normal at between 250 million and 450 million euros (207 million pounds-374 million pounds).

It said: “This result is hugely sensitive to any further positive or negative Covid news feed, and therefore we would warn all shareholders to expect further Covid disruptions before we here in Europe and the rest of the world can finally declare, that the Covid crisis is behind us. “

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Quiet end to turbulent month

A turbulent month for global markets is set to end with a positive tone, with the FTSE 100 index expected to open 46 points higher at 7512.

The improvement follows Friday’s recovery on Wall Street, as a record sales quarter for Apple helped ease some of the nervousness surrounding the technology sector.

Interest rate uncertainty has put pressure on the valuation of high-growth stocks at the beginning of the year, which has resulted in the technology-focused Nasdaq being 12% lower in one of the worst months since 2008.

The FTSE 100 index has been much more resilient due to its exposure to equities in the oil and banking sector.

Energy giants BP and Shell continue to benefit from Brent crude oil at levels above $ 90 per barrel. barrel, the highest in seven years due to supply constraints and geopolitical tensions.

OPEC + ministers will meet on Wednesday, but it is unlikely they will change their planned 400,000 barrel production increase for March. Brent was traded 1% higher today at $ 91.15 per share. barrel.

The banking sector has been lifted by margin-improving prospects of the Bank of England raising interest rates to 0.5% on Thursday, with urban economists predicting at least three more increases this year.

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