European stocks tumble over Brussels Airport explosions

Big 5

European stocks dropped early Tuesday following reports of twin explosions at the Brussels Airport that have reportedly left several wounded and dead.

The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP fell 0.8% to 338.27, led by losses in the consumer-services sector as travel stocks were pushed lower.

Belgium’s Bel-20 index BEL20, edged lower 0.5% to 3,400.58, with all but two components losing ground.

Brussels Airport confirmed the blasts in a post to Twitter and warned people not to come to the airport, saying an evacuation is underway. The cause of the explosions is not known.

Belgium has been on high alert after the arrest last week of a suspect involved in the November terrorist attacks in Paris.

Among travel stocks, Air France-KLM SA AF, fell 4.2% and hotel group Accor SA AC, lost 4.5%. British Airways parent International Consolidated Airlines Group IAG, fell 3.9% and Deutsche Lufthansa AG LHA declined 4%.

“The dark cloud of terrorism appears to have returned to haunt European markets this morning with reports of fatal explosions at Brussels airport weighing heavily on sentiment,” said Tony Cross, market analyst Trustnet Direct, in a note.

After “what happened to tourism in Paris after last year’s attacks, the sector will be anticipating tougher times ahead,” he wrote.

France’s CAC 30 PX1 fell 1% to 4,385.32 and Germany’s DAX 30 DAX, declined 1.2% to 9,832.80.

In Madrid, the IBEX 35 IBEX fell 1.7% to 8,874.00 and Italy’s FTSE MIB FTSEMIB, moved down 1.4% to 18,433.58.

U.S. stock futures ESM6, -0.39% retreated as well early Tuesday, while gold futures GCJ6, +0.83% were higher on apparent haven demand.

Source: MarketWatch