Rolls surges on £1bn buyback

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A promise by Rolls-Royce to return £1​bn to shareholders lifted the engines giant to the top of the FTSE 100 Index risers board today.

Shares jumped by ​six per cent​ or 59.5p to 1069.5p after Rolls announced plans to buy back stock once it has received the proceeds of the planned sale of its gas turbines and compressors business to Siemens.

The London market was also in positive mood after the US Federal Reserve signalled that interest rates would remain at record lows for longer, despite a steadily improving jobs market and modest inflation.

The FTSE 100 Index was 45.4 points higher at 6823.9, while the pound rallied against the US dollar to above 1.70 amid expectations that the Bank of England will increase rates before the end of this year.

Other risers included BT after regulator Ofcom outlined proposed new requirements on the telecoms firm to promote competition among superfast broadband providers.

However, Ofcom also rejected a complaint from rival TalkTalk that BT had failed to maintain a sufficient margin between its wholesale and superfast-broadband retail prices. Shares rose 8.6p to 393.6p as a result.

In corporate news, shares in transport group Go-Ahead rose after it said it expects its Southern and Southeastern rail division to deliver operating profits ahead of previous expectations. Shares rose 78.2p to 2255.2p.