U.K. stocks ended a volatile trading session slightly higher Friday, but with travel shares under pressure in the wake of a deadly terrorist attack in France.
The U.K’s FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -0.08% rose 0.2% to close at 6,669.24, ending a three-day losing run. For the week, the U.K. benchmark ended 1.2% higher.
Shares of airline EasyJet PLC /zigman2/quotes/202825892/delayed UK:EZJ -2.28% and travel-services provider TUI AG /zigman2/quotes/207049334/delayed UK:TUI -2.54% were among the shares losing the most among blue-chips. They were down 2.7% and 1.1% after Thursday night’s killing of at least 84 people in Nice, France. A truck barreled through revelers who were gathered at the Promenade des Anglais to celebrate Bastille Day.
French President François Hollande said the scene had “undeniable traits of terrorism,” and he extended the country’s state of emergency that has been in place since the Paris terrorist attacks in November.
Other travel and leisure shares also fell. British Airways parent International Consolidated Airlines PLC /zigman2/quotes/208070069/delayed UK:IAG -1.57% /zigman2/quotes/204976351/delayed ICAGY -1.18% dropped 0.9% and cruise ship operator Carnival PLC /zigman2/quotes/210414141/delayed UK:CCL -1.09% was pulled 2.3% lower.
On the midcap FTSE 250 index /zigman2/quotes/210598417/delayed UK:MCX -0.34% , travel services provider Thomas Cook Group PLC dropped 4.2%.
The FTSE 100 on Thursday ended 0.2% lower, turning down after the Bank of England surprised markets by not cutting the key benchmark rate to 0.25%. Markets had priced in a rate cut as policy makers foresee a “challenging” outlook for the British economy in the wake of the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union.
The pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD +1.0800% traded as high as $1.3481 on Friday, but lost steam through the session and bought $1.3217 around the time of the London market close. Sterling fetched $1.333 late Thursday in New York.
Other movers: Mining shares were also falling as metals prices dropped across the board. Shares of Fresnillo PLC /zigman2/quotes/201300065/delayed UK:FRES +1.01% lost 2.6%, Anglo American PLC /zigman2/quotes/201381512/delayed UK:AAL +0.80% erased 0.9% and Glencore PLC /zigman2/quotes/201400686/delayed UK:GLEN +2.63% /zigman2/quotes/209462106/delayed GLCNF +3.10% fell 0.4%.
FirstGroup PLC /zigman2/quotes/202157466/delayed UK:FGP -1.54% dropped 2.2% after the transport operator reported a drop in revenue and warned the consequences of Brexit on its U.K. business are uncertain.
Banks, however, were building on gains from Thursday, when investors in the sector welcomed the BOE’s decision not to cut rates at this point. Lower interest rates add pressure on margins for bank and can hurt profitability. Shares of Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC gained 1% and Barclays PLC /zigman2/quotes/208409333/delayed UK:BARC +2.16% /zigman2/quotes/206581728/composite BCS +1.07% rose 1.2%.