The UK market was lower on Friday as sterling firmed on rising optimism about a Brexit deal, which hit exporters. The FTSE 100 was 23 points lower at 7,332.63 while the FTSE 250, with more domestic exposure was 47 points to the good at 20,136.74.

The biggest faller in the FTSE 100 was engineer Rolls Royce (RR.), its shares 3.5% lower at 781.8p after saying that it expects problems with its Trent 1000 engines to take longer to fix. The company, however, said its guidance for cash costs for the Trent 1000 Package B and C in-service issues in 2019 and 2020 was unchanged.

Travel firm Thomas Cook (TCG) said that it needed another £200m to secure the backing of its lenders, smacking the shares 16% to 3.74p. In a statement the company said ‘Discussions to agree final terms on the recapitalisation and reorganisation of the company are continuing between the company and a range of stakeholders’.

Shares in beleaguered bank RBS (RBS) were 1.6% firmer at 210.8p after it named Alison Ross as its new chief executive, the first major lender to appoint a woman to the top job.

Chairman Howard Davies said ‘Following a rigorous internal and external process, I am confident that we have appointed the best person for the job’.

Rose, who was widely tipped to get the role at the state-backed lender, will succeed outgoing CEO Ross McEwan on 1 November. He is due to join National Australia Bank as their next chief executive.

Shares in ground engineering firm Keller (KLR) were 5% lower at 630.5p after it gave a trading update and chief executive Alan Michaelis stepped down. The company reiterated its existing outlook for the full year with revenue expected to be flat with an improvement in margin.

However, it followed it up by saying that the result ‘is more dependent than usual on the timing of expected large contract awards and the crystallisation of a number of customer claims that are in their final stages of negotiation.

Find out how to deal online from £1.50 in a SIPP, ISA or Dealing account.

Issue Date: 20 Sep 2019