LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Drops As Travel Shares Rattled After Terrorists Attack In Spain

By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

British Airways parent IAG and easyJet's stocks slump

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Blue-chip stocks in the U.K. dropped Friday, wrapping up the week with a fall in travel-related stocks after terrorists launched attacks in Spain.

The FTSE 100 fell 0.9% to close at 7,323.98, trimming its weekly advance to 0.2%.

Equities across Europe slumped after at least 14 people (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/islamic-state-takes-credit-for-deadly-barcelona-attack-on-pedestrians-2017-08-17) were killed Thursday when a van mowed down pedestrians on Barcelona's popular Las Ramblas thoroughfare. More than 100 other people were injured 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 Spanish town southwest of Barcelona.

Travel shares were pushed lower. EasyJet PLC (EZJ.LN) dropped 0.9%, shares of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG.LN) (IAG.LN), which runs British Airways, fell 2%, while in Ireland Ryanair Holdings PLC (RYAAY) lost 2%. Stock in InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (IHG) lost 1.6% and travel-services provider TUI AG closed down 0.7%.

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)

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"The terrorist attack in Spain reminded everyone that ISIS is still active. Investors turned towards the safety of the yen and gold again, while the dollar scored gains versus the risk-on commodity currencies," said Konstantinos Anthis, a research at ADS Securities.

Shares of gold producer Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS.LN) (RRS.LN) gained 1.2%, as gold got a boost from haven demand (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-retakes-1300-level-for-first-time-in-9-months-2017-08-18).

U.K., European and Asian stocks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nikkei-slumps-to-3-month-low-as-asian-markets-dip-2017-08-17) were also swept lower following Wall Street's selloff (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-looks-set-to-break-4-day-win-streak-as-fed-minutes-sink-in-2017-08-17) on Thursday. Investors are concerned the Trump administration won't be able to push through his business-friendly reforms after a number of Corporate America's leaders ditched U.S. President Donald Trump's advisory councils in reactions to his response this week to the deadly violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlotesville, Va.

The pound bought $1.2845 compared with $1.2868 late Thursday in New York.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 18, 2017 12:37 ET (16:37 GMT)