Airline stocks take off as coronavirus worries ease

Markets bounce back as hopes rise for economic recovery as lockdowns are relaxed

Shares in Aer Lingus parent International Airlines Group soared 22 per cent on Tuesday. Photograph: Frank Grealish

Shares in Aer Lingus parent International Airlines Group soared 22 per cent on Tuesday. Photograph: Frank Grealish

 

Investors were buoyed on Tuesday by easing fears in relation to the coronavirus pandemic and the potential for economics and businesses to get back to work.

DUBLIN

Euronext Dublin finished up 2.5 per cent on Tuesday, while there were major gains for airlines, banks and construction companies.

Two of the pillar banks were strong performers on the day as traders noted Bank of Ireland surged “a whopping” 13.5 per cent, while AIB climbed 10 per cent. One trader pointed out that, for many months, the two banks had been “underperformers in an underperforming sector”.

The aviation industry, which has been hammered by the pandemic, also bounced back. Ryanair saw its share price increase by 12 per cent but the airline lagged a number of its rivals as Aer Lingus parent International Airlines Group soared 22 per cent, while Easyjet climbed 20 per cent.

The positive sentiment in relation to the pandemic spread to the hotel sector as Dalata – Ireland’s biggest hotel operator – saw its shares advance 11 per cent.

On the home-building front, Glenveagh Properties and Cairn Homes were both up 5 per cent, while building material suppliers Grafton Group and Kingspan were up 6 per cent and 5 per cent respectively.

Elsewhere, shares in Swiss-Irish baked foods company Aryzta rose 10 per cent despite the company earlier reporting a 24 per cent reduction in revenue in the third quarter of its financial year.

LONDON

The Ftse 100 index gained 1.2 per cent, while the more domestic-focused Ftse 250 climbed 3.3 per cent as the UK market reopened after a bank holiday.

Travel and leisure stocks ended at a near one-month high after Spain said it would allow some foreign tourists from July and Germany was reported to be considering ending a travel warning for parts of Europe.

The Ftse 100 has recovered sharply from its March sell-off and is now on course for its biggest two-month percentage gain in two years. But it remains about 19 per cent down on the year.

Aston Martin shares surged more than 27 per cent after the luxury car maker said Mercedes-AMG chief executive Tobias Moers would become its chief executive in August.

Oil and gas stocks also rose, tracking crude prices on optimism that a revival in business activity would bring back demand for the commodity.

EUROPE

European shares rose to their highest level in the current rebound, as the Stoxx Europe 600 rose 1.1 per cent to its highest close since early March.

Travel and leisure shares rallied, led by a 52 per cent surge in TUI, after a report that Germany planned to lift transport warnings, adding to optimism about tourism restarting in Europe.

Lufthansa was up 7.5 per cent after the German government approved a €9 billion package and a company spokeswoman said it would resume flights to 20 destinations from mid-June. France’s Airbus gained 8.5 per cent, while the broader travel & leisure index was up 1.2 per cent.

Germany’s Dax rose 2.9 per cent to its highest level since March 6th, recovering nearly 38 per cent from this year’s low.

NEW YORK

US stocks jumped and the S&P 500 breached 3,000 points as optimism about a potential coronavirus vaccine and a revival in business activity helped investors overlook simmering Sino-US tensions.

The benchmark index traded above the key psychological level for the first time since March 5th.

All 11 S&P sector indexes were trading higher, with cyclical financials, industrials and energy stocks jumping 3.5-5 per cent.

The S&P 500 has risen about 37 per cent from its March lows on a raft of central bank and government stimulus and is now just about 11 per cent below its February record high.