Stocks slide after Barcelona attack

European stocks yesterday fell as Thursday’s terror attack in Barcelona weighed on investor sentiment, the Ftse 100 coming under pressure from falls among consumer giants, financials, and airline stocks.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 0.7% at the close, trimming its weekly advance to 0.6%.

While stocks around the world declined, financial markets have proven increasingly resilient to terror attacks in recent years.

Europe’s benchmark has struggled to rebound since a mid-May peak, weighed down by a strengthening euro and geopolitical tension.

Also contributing to global market unease this week are worries about US President Donald Trump’s administration following last week’s violence in Virginia.

Spain’s IBEX 35 Index slid 0.6% after trading 1.5% lower earlier in the day. All 19 groups in the Stoxx 600 dropped, with travel and media shares sliding the most. Shares in airline group IAG — which owns Aer Lingus, British Airways, and Iberia — fell 2% and EasyJet fell almost 1%, recovering earlier losses slightly as the broader European travel and leisure sector SXTP dropped 1.5%. “The entire airline and leisure industry is down today purely from the attacks,” said John Moore, a trader at Berkeley Capital.

“People in the forthcoming months, we believe, will be less likely to take trips abroad,” he said, adding that he expected the airline stocks to recover.

Falls among large consumer staples firms such as British American Tobacco and Diageo were the biggest weights on the Ftse 100, while financials also added pressure with HSBC, Lloyds and Barclays edging lower.

Reuters and Bloomberg


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