Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Global airline shares fall as markets reacted to attack on Israel by Hamas

Oil prices rose on Monday while airline shares fell as markets reacted to the surprise attack on Israel by the militant group Hamas, according to a media report.

Investors on Monday appeared to be pricing in the prospect of further instability in the Middle East, The Guardian reported.

Oil prices jumped by 3 per cent on Monday morning. Futures prices for Brent crude oil, the North Sea benchmark, rose to $89 (£73) a barrel at one point, recovering some of the losses of the last week.

London-headquartered FTSE 100 rivals BP and Shell rose by 3 per cent and 2.7 per cent, respectively, while on the FTSE 250 Harbour Energy was up 2 per cent.

Airlines were among the biggest stock market fallers on Monday morning, with international air travel already affected by the war. The share price of British Airways owner International Airlines Group was down 3.4 per cent, while easyJet fell by 4 per cent. The Paris-listed Air France-KLM lost 4.5 per cent, while Germany’s Lufthansa lost 3 per cent, The Guardian reported.

Several airlines have stopped flights to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport, Israel’s main international travel hub. They included the US carriers United, Delta and American, Air Canada, Germany’s Lufthansa and Air France.

British Airways adjusted departure times and said customers can change their travel dates free of charge, Bloomberg reported.

About 16 per cent flights into and out of Ben Gurion on Monday were cancelled, according to the data company FlightAware.

BAE Systems rose by 4.4 per cent, making it the biggest riser on the FTSE 100. The company makes a wide range of weaponry, from tanks and fighter jets to ammunition and missiles.

The German tankmaker Rheinmetall rose by 6.2 per cent, while the Italian defence and aerospace company Leonardo gained 5.7 per cent, The Guardian reported.

Gold prices rose by 1 per cent, as investors bought the traditional safe-haven asset.

Israel’s central bank stepped in to support its currency after the shekel fell to a near-eight-year low against the US dollar in early trading, The Guardian reported.

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