A summer washout for the UK’s big travel stocks was increasingly priced in by investors today after seeing yet more setbacks on the re-opening of holiday routes.
British Airways owner IAG fell by 3%, while easyJet and TUI were down as much as 4% in the FTSE 250 index as Germany chancellor Angela Merkel lobbied the EU to ban British travellers due to fears over the Delta variant.
Portugal has also re-imposed isolation requirements for unvaccinated arrivals, offsetting optimism over last week’s modest extension of the UK government’s green list of travel countries.
Susannah Streeter, senior markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said hopes of a late summer rebound for the industry were diminishing fast as families decide that staycations and day trips will be a safer bet.
She added: “The ever-changing rules and restrictions mean that trying to plan an overseas holiday has become like a game of snakes and ladders. A relaxation of the rules by one country, is swiftly followed by a tightening in another.”
The fall of 6.5p to 181p for IAG was accompanied by a drop of 2.6p to 103.9p for engines giant Rolls-Royce as the FTSE 100 index opened the week 30.04 points lower at 7,106.
The second-tier FTSE 250 fell by 38.44 points to 22,607.53, with TUI off 17.1p to 388.5p, easyJet down 28.8p to 926.2p and Wizz Air 117p cheaper at 4,901p.
One of the best performing stocks of the session was Dr Martens after analysts at HSBC said the recent slide in the bootmaker’s valuation had created a buying opportunity.
Dr Martens made its debut at 370p in late January and topped 500p by early June, only to slide after maiden annual results revealed two executives planned to leave the business.
HSBC said there was nothing in the company’s trading performance to merit the sell-off as they raised their price target from 490p to 510p. Shares rose 12.8p to 452.4p.
Outside the top flight, City Pub Group rose a penny to 128.5p after revealing that sales at its 42 re-opened outlets were at 90% of 2019 levels. Analysts at Liberum have a target of 160p.
Meanwhile, the price of bitcoin was on the rise jumping by nearly 10 per cent overnight to take it back above $34,000 despite reports top crypto exchange Binance faces a possible UK ban.
All of the top 10 most valuable cryptocurrencies seeing gains at the start of the week with Ethereum jumping by nearly 20% since Saturday.
Bitcoin’s bouceback may have been spurred by Mexican billionaire Ricardo Salinas Pliego’s announcement that the bank he founded, Banco Azteca, could become the first in Mexico to accept it.