Optimism over an end to social restrictions is driving travel and leisure stocks higher, adding buoyancy to European markets on Tuesday as indexes across the continent hovered around flat or fell. Commodity prices at multiyear highs have also added strength to markets.
British stocks led European trading, as the market absorbed Monday’s news from U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the plan to gradually reopen the country.
The U.K. is among the world’s leaders in COVID-19 vaccinations, and Johnson’s government has set a tentative early date of Jun. 21 for all social restrictions to be lifted. Domestic holidays could become possible by mid-April.
“The FTSE 100 [is] leading the way buoyed by outperformance in travel and leisure stocks as well as the basic resources sector, with commodity prices sitting at eight-year highs,” said Michael Hewson, an analyst at CMC Markets.
All the major European markets opened higher but have since given up gains, with most indexes falling.
“Travel and leisure stocks are getting a lift this morning after yesterday’s announcement of a reopening schedule in the U.K. prompted a surge in holiday bookings,” Hewson said.
Shares in both British Airways owner IAG
and Air France–KLM
were near 7% higher, with Lufthansa
stock lifting more than 5.5%. In the aircraft manufacturing sector, Airbus
stock rose 4% and shares in troubled British engineer Rolls-Royce
jumped near 9%.
The major European oil companies also lifted as crude prices remain at 13-month highs. Benchmark Brent
was near 1.5% higher, trading at more than $66.15 per barrel.
was a major faller in European trading, with the global banking giant down as much as 2% after posting a 34% fall in profits through 2020.
Shares in Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust
were down more than 5%. The publicly traded trust has significant holdings in big technology stocks like Alibaba
which have suffered recent share-price slides.