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FTSE flies as Ryanair’s passenger numbers soar and investors await US jobs data

FTSE 100 was in good cheer ahead of the US non-farm numbers and England’s quarter final on Saturday. London’s blue-chip index rose by 28 to 7,153 with the consensus for around 700,000 jobs to have been added in the US last month.

Sir Richard Branson has gazumped Amazon boss Jeff Bezos plan to be the first billionaire in space. The bearded tycoon announced his Virgin Galactic ship will take him up on 11 July or nine day ahead of Bezos’ planned trip into orbit.

Ryanair’s passenger numbers jumped to 5.3mln in June from 1.8mln in May with the airline carrier saying travel is starting to recover within the EU thanks to the vaccine roll-out.

WizzAir carried 1.5mln passengers from 500,00o a month earlier. Oil prices hit a new two-year high despite confusion over the outcome of yesterday’s OPEC+ meeting. Brent crude rose to US$75.50 even though the UAE has apparently vetoed a plan to raise production by 400,000 barrels a day.

Confectionery giant Haribo said driver shortages might stop its sweets reaching the UK. The German-based firm is the latest to flag the problem, with hauliers saying the UK might be short as many as 100,000 truckers due to Brexit and Covid restrictions.

Among the small caps. I3 Energy PLC (LON:I3E) said it is "very pleased" with the outcome of the drilling operation at its first Marten Hills Clearwater well in Canada. Drilling on the well started in mid-June.

E-therapeutics PLC (LON:ETX) said it had passed a key landmark in its collaboration with drug discovery group Galapagos that triggers a milestone payment under its pre-clinical and clinical development agreement. No financial details were given.

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