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European shares pare losses but travel stocks weighed down
November 16, 2015 / 10:17 AM / 2 years ago

European shares pare losses but travel stocks weighed down

* FTSEurofirst up 0.16 percent, France’s CAC down 0.12 pct

* Travel and leisure stocks down 1.6 pct on Paris attacks

* KBC rises on solid results, Sonova slumps

By Danilo Masoni

MILAN, Nov 16 (Reuters) - European shares pared losses on Monday to trade slightly higher, as gains in the energy sector partly offset a slump in travel stocks after Friday’s attacks in Paris, which killed more than 130 people.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index edged up 0.16 percent and France’s CAC was down 0.12 percent, while the STOXX Europe 600 Travel & Leisure index underperformed.

Investors said a loss of consumer confidence following the attacks could have a short-term impact on travel and leisure stocks but few expect a prolonged economic impact or change in prevailing long-term market directions.

“I don’t think the Paris events will touch the market and the economy on the whole. There is no more a tendency to panic in the wake of such attacks,” said Massimo Baggiani, head of international equity at Italy’s Symphonia.

“Certainly there will be a decline in tourism and hospitality activity for a few days. But I don’t expect this to drag on into Christmas,” he said.

Shares in French hotel group Accor fell 5.5 percent, Aeroports de Paris, the operator of Paris’ Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports, and Air France were down over 5 percent, while Eurotunnel shares were 4.5 percent weaker.

The STOXX Europe 600 Travel & Leisure index fell 1.6 percent, with 2.6 billion euros of market capitalisation wiped off in early deals.

Luxury stocks were also under pressure. Hermes, LVMH and Kering, which get a large part of their sales from foreign tourists in Paris, were all down more than 1 percent.

Energy stocks were the leading sectoral gainers, rising 1.5 percent, as crude oil prices edged up when France launched large-scale air strikes against Islamic State in Syria.

Basic resources stocks also firmed.

KBC rose more than 3 percent after the Belgian financial group posted a bigger-than-expected net profit, as a strong performance in its traditional banking and insurance businesses made up for a weaker showing of its dealing room.

Among outstanding losers, Sonova fell 8.9 percent as the hearing aid maker cut its sales and profit forecasts after weak cochlear implant sales, sluggish business with U.S. veterans and a squeeze on overseas earnings from the strong Swiss franc.

Today’s European research round-up (Additional reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Alistair Smout in London; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

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