London markets slide as travel firms hit by Spain quarantine rules

The London markets slipped lower as travel firms saw their shares hammered by the Government’s decision to quarantine arrivals from Spain.

Traders, who were also unnerved by wider market concerns largely linked to US-China tensions, sold off airliner stocks amid fears the move will stop UK holidaymakers from booking flights.

The FTSE 100 closed 18.94 points lower at 6,104.88p at the end of trading on Monday.

Julie Palmer, partner at Begbies Traynor, said: “Quarantines, falling consumer spending and anxieties about being in a confined space with others have all caused the airline sector to take a nose dive.

“Several airlines can survive a number of months due to high cash stocks, but the mass disruption to travel caused by countries experiencing waves at different times will have this sector tied in knots for months.”

Shares in EasyJet, British Airways-owner IAG and Tui all slid as holidaymakers continue to increasingly book domestic getaways.

Ryanair slipped in value as the Ireland-headquartered airliner also revealed it plunged to a 185 million euros (£168.7 million) loss in the first quarter of the current financial year.

Investors were shaken as the company warned that a second wave of the disease was now its “biggest fear”.

Shares closed 0.42p lower at 10.48p.

The major European markets were more mixed, with the German Dax moving higher despite widespread caution among traders.

David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “It has been a lacklustre session in Europe today as there wasn’t a clear direction for stocks.

“The same stories are doing the rounds as US-China tensions are hanging over the markets, and the pandemic is playing a role in the broadly negative sentiment too.”

The German Dax increased by 0.04%, while the French Cac moved 0.34% lower.

Across the Atlantic, the Dow Jones nudged marginally higher as rumours of a one trillion dollar stimulus package circulated to improve trading sentiment.

Meanwhile, sterling hit its highest figure since March against the dollar as it took advantage of weakness in the US greenback.

The pound rose 0.67% versus the US dollar at 1.287 and was down 0.28% against the euro at 1.095.

In company news, AstraZeneca edged lower despite announcing that it could pay up to six billion dollars (£4.7 billion) for the global rights to a new Japanese cancer treatment.

It saw shares nudge 4p lower at 8,648p after confirming the partnership with Daiichi Sankyo.

City Pub Group saw shares rise despite the London firm saying it has been bringing in less than two thirds of its usual business at the pubs it has reopened after lockdown.

The pub chain said 32 of its 48 pubs have reopened, but on a like-for-like basis sales are only at 63% of where they were before the crisis.

Shares closed 4p higher at 73.5p.

The price of oil slipped into the red on reports that supply is starting to tick upwards, while demand remains low.

The price of a barrel of Brent crude oil decreased by 1.29% to 42.74 US dollars.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Fresnillo, up 85p at 1,276.5p, Polymetal, up 127.5p at 1,932.5p, Antofagasta, up 37.5p at 1,066.5p, and Intertek, up 134p at 5,550p.

The biggest fallers of the day were Pearson, down 32.4p at 512.2p, IAG, down11.65p at 186.95p, Melrose, down 5.83p at 98.52p, and Intercontinental Hotel Group, down 149p at 3,619p.