By Jack Denton
The European Commission on Monday proposed welcoming fully-vaccinated travelers and tourists from countries with 'a good epidemiological situation'
Airline stocks flew higher on Tuesday, as the European Union moved to welcome foreign tourists to the region, a sign that more normal travel and tourism conditions can resume as COVID-19 vaccinations become more widespread.
Shares in British Airways owner IAG , Air France-KLM , Lufthansa , Ryanair , EasyJet , and Wizz Air were among the major risers in European trading, as hopes rose for a recovery in the travel industry, which has been badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Shares in major hotel groups Accor and InterContinental Hotels Group also rose.
On Monday, the executive branch of the EU recommended easing travel restrictions to allow tourists from more countries to enter the 27-member bloc.
Read more: EU proposes reopening external borders as vaccination campaigns pick up speed (link)
Under the European Commission's proposal, people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with an EU-approved vaccine or who come from a country with "a good epidemiological situation" will be welcome to the region. The EU has approved vaccines from Pfizer (PFE), Moderna (MRNA), AstraZeneca (AZN.LN), and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ).
"Time to revive [the EU's] tourism industry and for cross-border friendships to rekindle -- safely," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, via Twitter (TWTR). "We propose to welcome again vaccinated visitors and those from countries with a good health situation."
"But if variants emerge we have to act fast: we propose an EU emergency brake mechanism," she added. Currently, visitors from only seven countries with low infection rates can enter the EU for nonessential reasons.
Travel stocks added lift to European stock markets, which were mixed on Tuesday. The pan-European Stoxx 600 was just below flat while London's FTSE 100 index was 0.5% higher. The CAC 40 in Paris climbed 0.2% and Frankfurt's DAX was 0.6% lower.
Dow industrials futures were pointing down around 25 points, set for a soft open after rising 238 points Monday to close at 34,113.
The broad narrative of economic optimism driven by the diminishing severity of the COVID-19 pandemic in many countries continues to drive stocks higher.
"The catalyst for this latest move higher is chatter about a commodities supercycle with oil companies and miners higher as well as continuing optimism about the reopening of the global economy," said Russ Mould, an analyst at AJ Bell.
Along with airlines, metals and mining stocks contributed to stock market gains in Europe, with shares in Rio Tinto , BHP , Anglo American , Antofagasta , Glencore , and Fresnillo surging higher.
Major European-listed oil companies joined the commodities party and were among the other major risers in Europe, with shares in BP , Royal Dutch Shell , Total (FP.FR), and Eni lifting.
Shares in semiconductor group Infineon fell near 4.5%, despite the fact that the chip maker raised its guidance for revenue and margins (link) for the current fiscal year. The group said that it faces some supply constraints following the temporary shutdown of one of its plants in Texas.
Online meal-kit provider HelloFresh was another force dragging on European markets, with the stock down near 4.5% following the group's quarterly earnings (link). The group confirmed the growth in revenue and adjusted earnings it preannounced in April.
-Jack Denton; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
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05-04-21 0533ETCopyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.