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UPDATE 1-American Airlines raises forecast for key revenue metric

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July 12 (Reuters) - American Airlines Group Inc on Wednesday raised its forecast for a closely watched performance metric for the second quarter ending June, citing higher average fares.

The No.1 U.S. airline's shares were up 3.2 percent at $53.25 in pre market trading.

American Airlines said it now expects unit revenue - which compares sales to flight capacity - to increase about 5 percent to 6 percent in the quarter, compared with its earlier forecast of a rise of 3.5 percent to 5.5 percent.

The company also raised lower end of its forecast for quarterly pre-tax margin, excluding certain items, to 13 percent to 14 percent, from 12 percent to 14 percent.

Last week, smaller rival Delta Air Lines Inc also said it expects passenger unit revenue to be near the upper end of its second-quarter forecast, due to improving revenues.

Up to Tuesday's close, American Airlines' stock had risen 10.5 percent this year, compared with a 12.4 percent increase in the Dow Jones US Airlines index. (Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)