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FTSE 100 lifted by Ashtead boost

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Shares in industrial equipment hire group Ashtead led the FTSE 100 higher after the firm said it should see increased demand in the US following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.The clean-up operation following the two hurricanes is expected to mean greater demand for diggers and tools.Ashtead’s shares were up 5.6% in early trade, making it the biggest riser on the FTSE 100.The UK’s benchmark share index was 8.97 points higher at 7,422.56.Shares in Whitbread – the owner of Costa coffee shops and Premier Inn hotels – fell 3.3% after Citigroup downgraded its rating on the company to “sell” from “buy”.In the FTSE 250 index, shares in JD Sports jumped 5.3% after it brushed aside any fears of a downturn in the “athleisure” sector by reporting a big rise in both sales and profits.In the six months to the end of July, sales rose 41% from a year earlier to £1.4bn with pre-tax profits climbing 33% to £103m.On the currency markets, the pound rose 0.3% against the dollar to $1.3201 and edged up 0.1% against the euro to 1.1024 euros.
Source: BBC