Europe finished Friday’s session on a negative note, as the worst terror attack seen in Spain for more than 13 years added jitters to market sentiment.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended down 0.71 provisionally, however on the week the index closed 0.55 percent up.
Looking to Europe’s major bourses, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 ended 0.86 percent down, while the French CAC 40 slipped 0.64 percent and Germany’s DAX ended 0.31 percent down. In periphery markets, Spain’s IBEX 35 ended 0.56 percent down.
All sectors finished Friday in negative territory, with the travel and leisure sector leading the losses, along with the media sector, following the attack in Spain’s second largest city. The travel and leisure sector ended down 1.46 percent. Budget airliner Ryanair and cruise company Carnival were among the biggest fallers in the sector, closing 2 and 1.2 percent down respectively.
Sticking with the sector, bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair fell to the bottom of travel and leisure, closing 3.35 percent down, with rival William Hill also ending sharply lower. This comes after HSBC cut its target price on Paddy Power Betfair.
On the earnings front, Dutch oil and chemical storage company Vopak reported core profit in 2017 would be lower than last year, in part due to the firm’s plans to invest in its storage facilities. Its shares slipped to hit the bottom of the benchmark in trade, closing the day off just over 9 percent down.
Meantime, Kingspan Group posted a 5.5 percent rise in pretax profits for the first six months of the year. The Ireland-based materials company said strong sales should also help the firm meet market expectations for 2018. Its shares jumped, finishing up 9.57 percent, only to be surpassed by Germany’s Stada, which soared 13.2 percent.
On Thursday afternoon, a van mowed through crowds of tourists in Barcelona, killing at least 13 people. The deadly assault was then followed by a second attack in Cambrils, a coastal town south of Barcelona, where police said they had shot dead five attackers. Following the series of terror attacks in Spain, it has been revealed that at least 14 people have been killed, while around 130 others are injured.
“European equity markets are catching down with events yesterday evening… with travel and leisure stocks under particular pressure,” Rebecca O’Keeffe, head of investment at Interactive Investor said in an email.
“The Barcelona attack is just one catalyst for the selling, with issues in Washington also causing investors huge concern,” she added.
Asia stocks joined a global retreat from riskier assets on Friday, as the dollar remained under pressure amid wavering confidence in President Donald Trump’s ability to deliver his economic agenda.
Investors appeared to become increasingly anxious over Trump’s ability to push through his ambitious economic goals, such as tax cuts and infrastructure spending, following the exodus of business executives from two prominent councils this week.
Several business leaders had defected from their advisory council roles after Trump’s highly controversial comments in the wake of a white nationalist rally in Virginia.
U.S. equities recovered from a negative open, trading fairly mixed around Europe’s close, after a report said Steve Bannon, one of President Donald Trump’s top advisors, may be leaving the administration.