Brussels attacks: Ryanair, EasyJet, Thomas Cook, InterContinental Hotels's and American Airlines share prices fall after explosions

 
Catherine Neilan
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The police have shut off the roads around Zaventem airport (Source: Getty)

Shares in holiday firms sank today, in the wake of two explosions at Brussels' Zaventem Airport, and a third at the Maalbeek metro station, which are believed to have killed at least 34 people and wounded more than 130 between them.

Airlines were particularly affected: Shares in American Airlines, which was said to be the target of this morning's attack, were down 1.8 per cent by the time of writing.

The airline has not issued a formal statement yet, but has tweeted that the incident did not take place at its check in area, and that there were no reported injuries to its staff.

EasyJet's share price was down 4.6 per cent in morning trading, but had recovered to around 0.7 per cent by mid-afternoon. Ryanair's shares were down 4.4 per cent on the open, and by the afternoon were still down around 2.3 per cent.

International Consolidated Airline's share price was down 4.9 per cent in early morning trade, and remained down 2.1 per cent by mid-afternoon.

Continental companies were also affected: Air France's share price fell 5.4 per cent and Deutsche Lufthansa's was down four per cent.

But it wasn't just airlines.

Thomas Cook, which this morning issued an update guiding that summer bookings would be down on last year because of terror attacks, had a bad morning, with its share price falling 6.8 per cent. By mid-afternoon it was down a relatively smaller 2.8 per cent.

Meanwhile, InterContinental Hotels' share price was down 2.9 per cent first thing, and by the afternoon had narrowed that fall to 1.9 per cent.

Investors moved into safe havens, with spot gold was trading 0.76 per cent up at $1,252.90 a troy ounce in European morning trade.

Other assets including 10-year German government bonds, the dollar and the yen also rose.

Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, said: "It's no surprise to see European airlines and travel shares being offloaded this morning while gold and the yen benefit from fresh safehaven seeking. This, after news of multiple explosions in Brussels this morning, two at its main Zaventem international airport and now more on the city’s metro network which has since been put in lockdown.

"While details are yet to be confirmed, the fear is that the explosions relate to yet another coordinated terror attack, echoing that of Paris, with reports of multiple fatalities and injures.

"It's always a sad day when terrorism has to be the driver to kick markets from their state of calm. It’s also a sign of times when the market response is - in relative terms - so muted. Investors have had to develop a thick skin for such horrific events over the years and their encouraging defiance may again result in near-term recovery for the stocks affected."

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