LONDON MARKETS: U.K. Travel Stocks Lead FTSE 100 To 3-week Higher After Monarch Collapse

By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatchFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

U.K. manufacturing PMI on deck at 9:30 a.m. London time

The U.K.'s benchmark stock index rose for a fourth straight session on Monday, with British travel stocks rallying after discount carrier Monarch Airlines went into administration.

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The FTSE 100 index rose 0.3% to 7,394.74, trading around its highest level since Sept. 12, according to FactSet data.

The London blue-chip index on Friday closed out the third quarter with a 0.8% gain, as it also scored a 0.8% advance for the month of September.

Travel stocks: October's upbeat start on stock markets was led by shares of easyJet PLC (EZJ.LN) , which climbed 4.5% after rival Monarch said it had been placed into administration and had cancelled all flights and vacations booked through the company. U.K. media described it as Britain's biggest airline collapse ever.

"The failure of Monarch is good news for rivals," said Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital, in a note.

"It means fewer seats to fill sector-wide -- more than 6 million in the case of Monarch. This should mean Ryanair and easyJet can comfortably improve load factors, even if the reputation of the former has suffered of late. This should be positive for margins despite pricing pressures," he added.

Ryanair Holdings PLC (RYAAY) has been in the firing line lately after cancelling flights for more than 700,000 passengers due to a mess up with pilots' vacations. Shares of the Irish low-cost airline were up 2.9% on Monday.

Read:Ryanair threatened with court action after cancellation scandal (

Other travel stocks in the U.K. were also higher, on hopes they will pick up the spoils of the extra bookings and potentially pick up some of Monarch's assets cheap. Shares of British Airways-parent International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG.LN) (IAG.LN) gained 2.2%, InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (IHG) added 1.8% and TUI AG put on 1.1%.

On the FTSE 250 index , travel operator Thomas Cook Group PLC (TCG.LN) advanced 2.8%.

Later in the morning, attention turns to the U.K. manufacturing purchasing managers index for September that is due at 9:30 a.m. London time, or 4:30 a.m. Eastern Time.

The pound dropped to $1.3332, down from $1.3399 late Friday in New York. Sterling, however, strengthened against the euro , buying EUR1.1351 compared with EUR1.1342 on Friday, after the Catalan independence vote on Sunday ( weighing on the shared currency.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 02, 2017 04:18 ET (08:18 GMT)