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European travel stocks slide after Brussels blasts

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London, United Kingdom | AFP

Shares in airlines and travel sector companies fell heavily across European stock markets on Tuesday after explosions in Brussels.

Twin blasts at Brussels airport killed at least one person and wounded several others, officials said, and Brussels train staff also reported a subsequent explosion at a metro station.

At about 0830 GMT, Europe’s main indices were down between 1.0 and 1.5 percent compared with Monday’s closing levels.

Connor Campbell, analyst at Spreadex trading group, said that “reports of two explosions at Brussels airport were sending the markets sharply lower”.

London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 1.1 percent, while in the eurozone, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 slumped 1.6 percent and the Paris CAC 40 lost 1.4 percent.

In London, shares in tourism groups Thomas Cook and TUI dived 6.3 percent and 4.0 percent respectively, while InterContinental Hotels Group shed 3.1 percent.

Easyjet dropped 4.0 percent and IAG, parent of British Airways and Iberia, plunged 4.8 percent.

French hotels group Accor meanwhile plummeted 5.7 percent and German airline Deutsche Lufthansa retreated 3.74 percent in value.

While the travel sector took a battering, haven assets including gold and the yen won strong support.

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