Optimism about an end to social constraints is pushing travel and leisure stocks up, driving European markets on Tuesday as indices across the continent flat or fell. Commodity prices at multi-year highs have also strengthened the markets.
The pan-European Stoxx 600
fell 0.9%, while the FTSE 100 in London
was just below flat. In Paris, the CAC 40
was 0.2% lower, and the Frankfurt DAX
were headed down about 20 points, set on a weak opening after the Dow Jones Industrial Average
Monday a slightly higher close to close at 31,521.
British equities led European trading as the market absorbed Monday's news from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the plan to gradually reopen the country.
The UK is one of the world leaders in COVID-19 vaccinations, and Johnson's government has set a tentative early date of June 21, by which all social restrictions should be lifted. Domestic holidays could become possible in mid-April.
Also read: Boris Johnson sketches a road map to get England out of the lockdown
"The FTSE 100 [is] is leading the way, backed by the outperformance in travel and leisure stocks and the commodity industry, with commodity prices at their highest point in eight years," said Michael Hewson, analyst at CMC Markets.
All major European markets opened higher, but have since given up gains, with most indices falling.
"Travel and leisure stocks are getting a boost this morning after yesterday's announcement of a reopening schedule in the UK triggered an increase in holiday bookings," said Hewson.
Shares in both owner IAG of British Airways
and Air France-KLM
were nearly 7% higher, with Lufthansa
stock lift more than 5.5%. In the aircraft construction sector, Airbus
stock rose 4% and shares in troubled British engineer Rolls-Royce
jumped close to 9%.
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The major European oil companies also rose as crude oil prices remained at their highs in 13 months. Benchmark Brent
was up nearly 1.5%, trading at over $ 66.15 a barrel.
was a major downturn in European trade, with the global banking giant falling as much as 2% after a 34% profit decline through 2020.
Shares in Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust
were down more than 5%. The publicly traded trust has significant stakes in major technology stocks such as Alibaba
that have recently fallen in the stock price.