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Europe Markets

July 19, 2021, 5:39 a.m. EDT

European stocks slump as travel companies tumble on virus worries

By Steve Goldstein

European stocks skidded on Monday as travel and leisure stocks fell.

The Stoxx Europe 600 (STOXX:XX:SXXP) fell 1.8%, on worries about the inability of major economies to return to normality as the COVID-19 pandemic lingers even with the emergence of vaccines. Decliners included cruise operator Carnival (LON:UK:CCL) , plane maker Airbus (PAR:FR:AIR) and engine maker Safran (PAR:FR:SAF) .

Of the major regional indexes, the German DAX (XEX:DX:DAX) declined 1.9%, the French CAC 40 (PAR:FR:PX1) slumped 2% and the U.K. FTSE 100 (FTSE:UK:UKX) slumped 1.9%.

In England, the lifting of many restrictions, dubbed “Freedom Day,” was also coupled with new restrictions on travel to France, on worries about the beta variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Reversing an earlier decision, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is now in quarantine until July 26 , after contact with the country’s health minister, who is a confirmed coronavirus case.

“Re- imposition of some restrictions remains a clear risk, although if U.K. reopening works, it suggests other countries could follow suit shortly, despite Delta,” said economists at Morgan Stanley led by Mario Pietrunti.

The Nikkei 225 (NIKKEI:JP:NIK) declined 1.3% in Tokyo, in what was a broad pullback across most of Asia. Infections reported in the Olympic Village ahead of the opening games underscored the difficulties the world has encountered trying to reopen economies.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (CBT:YM00) lost more than 300 points.

Link to MarketWatch's Slice.