Travel and leisure shares fall following Paris attacks

Travel and leisure shares dropped sharply as European stock markets slipped at the start of the trading day after after the Paris terror attack.

Airline shares saw big falls, with Air France down 5.2% and British Airways owner International Airlines Group dropping 3.4%.

Analysts had expected travel and tourism stocks to suffer, and shares in French hotel group Accor fell 6.3%.

The tourism sector accounts for about 7.5% of French GDP.

France’s Cac 40 index fell 1%, while the main markets in London and Frankfurt fell 0.5% – a more muted response than some had predicted, the BBC reported.

“These Paris terrorist attacks and the larger scale of this attack could have a meaningful negative impact on the travel and tourism sector,” Robert T Lutts, president and chief investment officer at Cabot Wealth Management, told Reuters.

“It is possible this could cause investors to take a bit more cautious stance on the higher risk sectors of the markets.”

Hidenori Suezawa, financial market and fiscal analyst at SMBC Nikko Securities, added: “Given that France has a big tourism industry there may be some damage to the economy if this leads to a fall in visitors to France, or in tourism in general after the crash of a Russian plane.”

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