This weekend’s demise of Thomas Cook has rearranged the top of the FTSE losers and gainers table this morning and the score is as follows: travel firms score, insurance lose.
The tour group went into compulsory liquidation over the weekend after last ditch rescue talks failed, cancelling all of its flight and hotel bookings. In a larger scale replay of the collapse of Monarch airlines a few years ago thousands of travellers were left stranded, leaving the UK Civil Aviation Authority to repatriate some 150,000 passengers. Insurance firms are already reeling from the bill that could potentially head their way with RSA Insurance, Prudential and high street banks all trading lower.
Travel group TUI spiked 8% assuming that it will pick up a large portion of Thomas Cook’s holiday traffic in the future.
Overall the FTSE is on the back foot morning, hindered not only by Thomas Cook, but also weighed down by lower close of markets in Asia where shares dipped on concerns over renewed Sino-US talks and continued tensions in the Middle East.
Pound slides, but from a better position than last week
Boris Johnson is heading for New York where he will meet Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and Donald Tusk on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to try and move the currently deadlocked Brexit negotiations forward. It would be an overstatement to say that currency traders are cautiously optimistic about potential results given that the pound is down 0.4% this morning but still ,sterling is trading at a higher level against the dollar than throughout most of last week. The pound’s upward move against the euro is less convincing, up 0.07%, with the common currency losing ground following the ECB’s comments attributing the decline in the euro-zone’s industrial production to domestic factors.
After last week’s price gyrations oil has now settled in a narrow range between $64 and $65. Tensions in the Middle East remain elevated but the US plan to send troops to Saudi Arabia to protect the country’s inland oil facilities seems to have calmed the market, making it more likely that a future drone attack might be fended off before it causes a similar level of damage as the one last weekend.
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