Travel shares dive after France terror attack

Forensics officers and policemen look for evidences in a truck on the Promenade des Anglais seafront in the French Riviera town of Nice, after it drove into a crowd watching a fireworks display. (Anne-Christine Poujoulat, AFP)
Forensics officers and policemen look for evidences in a truck on the Promenade des Anglais seafront in the French Riviera town of Nice, after it drove into a crowd watching a fireworks display. (Anne-Christine Poujoulat, AFP)

London - Travel shares led European shares lower on Friday, after a deadly attack in France.

EasyJet, Air France-KLM Group and hotel operator Accor fell at least 2.1%, dragging travel and leisure shares to the worst performance on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. The benchmark lost 0.3% at 08:17 in London.

At least 80 people were killed and about 20 critically injured in the coastal city of Nice when driver plowed into a late-night crowd on Bastille Day with his truck. The assault is the third major terrorist attack in France since January 2015 and the seventh in the last eighteen months.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index pared its weekly advance after the attack, which prompted France to extend a state of emergency.

While stocks are falling today, history has shown that such reactions tend to be short-lived. Past incidents such as Madrid’s train bombings in 2004 and London’s 2005 blasts had spurred selloffs in equities that were erased days or weeks later.

Before today, the Stoxx 600 climbed in three of the past four sessions as optimism grew central bankers will act to limit the fallout of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, uncertainty over UK leadership eased and earnings reports beat estimates.

The benchmark is heading for a weekly advance of 3.1%. It’s still trading below its level on the day of the referendum, even as global stocks erased their Brexit losses earlier this week.

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