Tourism stocks knock FTSE after Brussels explosions

by Jonathan Adams

Britain’s top share index slipped on Tuesday after a series of explosions in Brussels at its airport and a metro station. The FTSE was hit by falling travel and leisure stocks.

The FTSE 350 Travel and Leisure sector was 1.6 per cent lower, airlines IAG down 4 per cent and easyJet down 3.5 per cent.

Other travel groups such as TUI and cruise operator Carnival fell around 3 per cent, while Intercontinental Hotel Group fell 2.3 per cent.

Among mid-caps, tour group Thomas Cook fell 5.4 per cent. It said that bookings were lower than last year due to uncertain geopolitical conditions, but prices were holding up and it was sticking with its annual guidance.

Director of travel & leisure equity research at Numis Securities, Wyn Ellis said, “(Events in Brussels are) clearly and understandably going to dent consumer confidence and it’s making life very difficult for the travel companies and the airlines, and that was evidenced with Thomas Cook today, they (had) a very cautious trading update”.

“The problem now is that we’re having a whole series of these events, and until they stop, the fear is that they’re going to continue.”

At 0935 GMT, Britain’s FTSE 100 index was down 26.45 points, or 0.4 per cent, at 6,158.13, touching its lowest level since March 11 in early trade.

Gold rose after investors went for so-called “safe haven” assets, boosting precious metals miners Fresnillo and Randgold, up 2.1 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively.

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