Luxury firms take a tumble

Marion Dakers
THE DISASTER in Japan pummeled manufacturing and luxury goods stocks yesterday, alongside insurers and energy firms, as markets across the world ended lower.

Burberry, which says it makes a significant portion of its profits from its Japanese licenses, fell 4.3 per cent in London trading yesterday.

Hermes, which makes 19 per cent of its sales in Japan, fell 3.1 per cent in Paris trading.

LVMH, the owner of Moet, Hennessy and Louis Vuitton, tumbled 3.1 per cent as the recovery in high-end retail looked under threat.

Japan makes up 11 per cent of the world’s luxury goods sales, ranking second globally behind the US.

“As far as the European consumer sector is concerned in the wake of the earthquake, we believe that the early cycle recovery rally in Luxury now seems vulnerable,” said MF Global.

However, the need for temporary power to aid rescue efforts propelled Aggreko to the top of the FTSE risers.

Manufacturing stocks fell on worries that supply chains will be disrupted. Hitachi’s operations at six plants in the country remained suspended yesterday, pushing its New York- and Tokyo-listed shares down more than 15 per cent.

Peugeot Citroen said yesterday it has halted production of its electric cars, which are made in Japan, helping send its shares down 1.9 per cent.

Toyota fell 4.6 per cent after it said it has suspended all production in Japan until at least Wednesday.

Boeing shares fell 1.3 per cent in New York trading after its head of commercial aeroplanes said the 787 Dreamliner faces further delays if its Japanese suppliers are disrupted beyond a few weeks.