EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Sell Off After Deadly Terrorist Attack In Barcelona

By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch , Carla Mozee Features Dow Jones Newswires

U.S. political worries also pressuring European stocks

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Spanish stocks slumped Friday, as part of a wider selloff across European markets a day after terrorists killed at least 13 people in the heart of Barcelona.

More than 100 people were injured in Spain's second-largest city (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/islamic-state-takes-credit-for-deadly-barcelona-attack-on-pedestrians-2017-08-17) in a late Thursday afternoon attack claimed by Islamic State, and the death toll could rise, officials said. Hours later, police killed five alleged terrorists as they responded to a separate attack that hurt seven people in Cambrils, a town southwest of Barcelona, the Catalan government said.

In Madrid, the IBEX 35 dropped 0.6% to close at 10,385.70, and had fallen by as much as 1.7% in early trade. The Stoxx Europe 600 index fell 0.7% to end at 374.20, trimming its weekly gain to 0.6%.

"Airlines bore the brunt of a risk-off turn on the open," said ETX Capital's senior market analyst Neil Wilson in a note. "As we've seen over the last couple of years in Europe, these kinds of atrocities affect tourism and will hit airline earnings. Investors are concerned that demand will fall over the rest of the year, which was already looking like it would be a tough patch for the industry."

Shares of Air France-KLM SA (AF.FR) dropped 1.6%, Ryanair Holdings PLC (RYAAY) gave up 2%, International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG.LN) (IAG.LN), which runs British Airways, fell 2%, and easyJet PLC (EZJ.LN) lost 0.9%.

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Read:Airlines slump after Barcelona attack, but here's why you should bet they'll recover (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/airlines-slump-after-barcelona-attack-but-heres-why-you-should-bet-theyll-recover-2017-08-18)

On the IBEX 35, Melia Hotels International SA (MEL.MC) gave up 2% and supermarket chain Distribuidora Internacional de Alimentacion SA (DIA.MC) dropped 2.6%.

Other movers: Shares of Royal Vopak NV (VPK.AE) tumbled 9.1% after the tank-storage terminal operator issued a warning on full year profits.

Stada Arzneimittel AG (SAZ.XE) soared 13% after news that Bain Capital LLC and Cinven Group Ltd. has won over enough shareholders to proceed with their takeover of the German drugmaker.

White House drama: European stocks were also under pressure following reports out late Thursday that White House economic adviser Gary Cohn would leave his role, and deal a blow to U.S. President Donald Trump's plan for a tax-code overhaul. The White House said Thursday that Cohn is staying, but Cohn was reportedly upset by Trump's response to last weekend's deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

"Markets had originally given President Trump the benefit of the doubt and hoped his abrasive style would cut through the political web and get things done. However, far from being a force for change, seven months into his presidency there has been no noticeable policy success and U.S. politics is more divided than ever," said Rebecca O'Keeffe, head of investment at Interactive Investor, in a note.

"Dissolving his infrastructure council before it even began highlights just how volatile the situation is and the question for investors is changing from what support Trump may deliver to markets to what risk he brings," she said.

Indexes: France's CAC 40 index fell 0.6% to 5,114.15 and Germany's DAX 30 index fell 0.3% to 12,165.19. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index dropped 0.9% to 7,323.98.

The euro bought $1.1747, up from $1.1725 late Thursday in New York.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 18, 2017 12:21 ET (16:21 GMT)