Terror attacks in Spain shook European markets on Friday, sending airline, hotel and travel-agency stocks into the red amid fears of a pending drop in tourist numbers across the continent.
Investor jitters dragged on London’s blue chip index, which slid 0.86 per cent or 63.89 points to 7,323.98.
David Madden, a market analyst at CMC Markets, said: “The tragic event in Barcelona yesterday has shook tourist-related stocks.
“When events like this happen, traders wonder will there be a negative impact on tourism, and companies in the travel and leisure sector feel the pressure.”
British Airways owner IAG was among the worst-performing stocks, down 12.5p to 611.5p while travel agency TUI dropped 9p to 1,325p and low-cost carrier easyJet fell 11p to 1,290p.
The tragedy also impacted the share price of InterContinental FHotels Group, which fell 64p to 3,924p.
Merlin Entertainments was knocked down 3.9p to 460.5p, amid fears of a slowdown in visitors to some of the company’s main tourist attractions including Alton Towers and the London Eye.
Continental carriers were dragging down their respective European indexes, leaving the French CAC 40 down 0.64 per cent, the German Dax down 0.31 per cent and Spain’s IBEX down 0.56 per cent.
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FTSE 250 stocks were also hit by the sell-off, with Thomas Cook down 0.6p at 124.2p and Wizz Air falling 16p to 2,850p.
London’s second-tier index ended the day lower by 146.62 points at 19,626.46.
In currency markets, the pound fell nearly 0.2 per cent versus the US dollar to 1.284, and 0.3 per cent versus the euro to 1.093.
Data released by the Food and Drink Federation on Friday showed sterling’s slump has caused Britain’s food and drink trade deficit to balloon in the first half of the year, despite salmon and whisky sales helping exports touch a record high of £10.2bn.
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