Reopening in leaps and bounds

Travel firms and hotel chains are dominating the top of the FTSE league table this morning as the reopening across Europe rekindles hopes of summer travel and holidays in the sunshine.

Charts (6)

Travel firms and hotel chains are dominating the top of the FTSE league table this morning as the reopening across Europe rekindles hopes of summer travel and holidays in the sunshine.  Over the weekend the Canary Islands opened for tourists and on Monday Spain said it would allow visitors from 1 July. France is still imposing a two-week quarantine on travelers from Britain but Italy will allow tourists from next month, as will Turkey.

The renewed enthusiasm for travel firms is channelling large volumes of trade into British Airways-owner International Consolidated Airlines, almost on a par with volumes in Barclays bank. And while shares in IAG, Intercontinental Hotels and travel operator TUI are beginning to make up for heavy losses during the lock down, Premier Inn-owner Whitbread slipped as foreign travel will mean fewer budget travelers at home.

The Prime Minister’s plan to allow UK shops to reopen from the middle of next month is also providing a fillip for clothes, shoes and sports chains pushing Next, JD Sports and Primark-owner Associated British Foods up the FTSE rankings. With the high streets reopening, property sales  are also expected to start picking up during what is traditionally the busiest part of the year.

Europe’s first corona-free state

Over the weekend Montenegro became the continent’s first country to declare itself virus-free after the tiny nation didn’t record a single new case in 20 days. This significant milestone holds out the prospect of further opening of European countries and markets, and the possibility that some areas of the European travel business could be up and running before the end of the season.

The STOXX Europe 600 Travel & Leisure index jumped over 6% this morning, marking its highest point since the end of April as some glimmers of positivity crept back into the sector.

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