By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch
Shares of Air France-KLM on Monday nosedived on a warning over bookings, and other airlines weakened, in mostly listless European stock markets on Monday.
Air France-KLM shares /zigman2/quotes/205396176/delayed FR:AF +2.24% plunged 9% as the airline said “close-in bookings in the peak travel period are weaker than foreseen in view of softening macro-economic environment.”
Mark Simpson, an analyst at Goodbody Stockbrokers, said consensus operating profit forecasts of 1.3 billion euros “will likely move lower on the implied implications for yields on weaker close in bookings.” The guidance had been for stable pricing for the network airlines.
Separately, a French minister told Le Parisien that Air France “wanted to make an offer” for the bankrupt airline Aigle Azur, Reuters reported .
Other European airlines including easyJet /zigman2/quotes/202825892/delayed UK:EZJ +6.95% , International Consolidated Airlines Group /zigman2/quotes/208070069/delayed UK:IAG +8.43% , Ryanair Holdings /zigman2/quotes/205429530/delayed IE:RY4C +6.20% /zigman2/quotes/204098489/composite RYAAY +3.90% and Deutsche Lufthansa /zigman2/quotes/205496028/delayed DE:LHA +7.08% also lost ground. British Airways, a unit of International Consolidated Airlines Group, separately was forced to cancel nearly all of its flights due to an airline strike.
Broader markets showed little movement. The Stoxx Europe 600 index /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP +1.68% gained 0.07% to 387.40.
The German DAX /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX +2.04% increased 0.32% to 12230.31, the French CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 +2.41% gained 0.03% to 5605.57 and the U.K. FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +1.71% weakened 0.29% to 7261.56.
U.S. stock futures /zigman2/quotes/209948968/delayed ES00 +0.09% were a bit stronger.
There was a slight bit of positive news on the U.S.-China trade war front as Politico reported that China offered to make modest U.S. agricultural purchases — if the U.S. relaxed restrictions on Huawei and also delayed the next tariff increase.
U.K. economic data came in better than forecast, with monthly GDP rising by 0.3% and industrial production edging upward in July.
Of other notable movers, ProSiebenSat.1 Media /zigman2/quotes/200272314/delayed DE:PSM +4.84% rallied 5% as UBS upgraded the company to buy from neutral, saying it’s too cheap to ignore despite the macro headwinds.
Associated British Foods /zigman2/quotes/204493701/delayed UK:ABF +4.45% fell over 2% after reiterating that adjusted EPS will be flat for the year.