European shares fall after explosions hit Brussels airport

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Broken windows seen at the scene of explosions at Zaventem airport near Brussels, Belgium, March 22, 2016. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir
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European shares fall after explosions hit Brussels airport

European shares fell in early trading on Tuesday (Mar 22), with travel and leisure stocks leading the market lower after explosions hit the airport in Brussels.

Explosions tore through the departure hall of Brussels airport on Tuesday morning, killing one person and injuring several others, the Belgian news agency Belga said.

The agency said shots were fired and there were shouts in Arabic shortly before the explosions.

London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 1.1 per cent, while in the eurozone, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 slumped 1.6 per cent and the Paris CAC 40 lost 1.4 per cent.

In London, shares in tourism groups Thomas Cook and TUI dived 6.3 per cent and 4.0 per cent respectively, while InterContinental Hotels Group shed 3.1 per cent.

Easyjet dropped 4.0 per cent and IAG, parent of British Airways and Iberia, plunged 4.8 per cent.

French hotels group Accor meanwhile plummeted 5.7 per cent and German airline Deutsche Lufthansa retreated 3.74 per cent in value.

Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, said that the “explosion at Brussels airport… has knocked sentiment”.

While the travel sector took a battering, haven assets including gold and the yen won strong support.

CNA/Reuters/AFP/sk

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