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May 4, 2021, 11:55 a.m. EDT

FTSE 100 outpaces European indexes, lifted by airlines, commodity stocks and manufacturing data

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By Jack Denton

The key British stock market index outpaced its European peers on Tuesday, led higher by travel and commodity stocks, as optimism was also buoyed by upbeat manufacturing data.

The FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.20% , the index of London’s top stocks by market capitalization, was 0.7% lower after spending much of the day in the green, ahead of most other major European indexes, which were deeper into the red. The relative outperformance of the FTSE 100 on Tuesday came after British markets were closed for trading on Monday due to a holiday.

While the broader narrative remains one of economic optimism driven by the diminishing severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, with investors continuing to watch inflation as a risk to markets, airline stocks got a boost from plans to reopen Europe to wider travel.

On Monday, the executive branch of the European Union 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

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 /zigman2/quotes/202877789/composite PFE +0.70% , Moderna /zigman2/quotes/205619834/composite MRNA -3.84% , AstraZeneca /zigman2/quotes/200304487/composite AZN +0.93% , and Johnson & Johnson /zigman2/quotes/201724570/composite JNJ +0.20% .

“News that the European Commission is taking steps to reopen the continent in time for the summer travel season is lifting risk appetite,” said Sophie Griffiths, an analyst at Oanda. “Furthermore, Britain’s expected announcement of a green list for countries that people can travel to is adding further support to travel and tourism stocks.”

U.K. trade minister Liz Truss told Sky News on Tuesday that a “green list” of countries that Brits could travel to without having to isolate upon return is set to be released shortly.

Shares in airlines IAG /zigman2/quotes/208070069/delayed UK:IAG -2.56% — which owns British Airways — and easyJet /zigman2/quotes/202825892/delayed UK:EZJ -0.53% took off in London trading, with EasyJet /zigman2/quotes/202825892/delayed UK:EZJ -0.53% InterContinental Hotels Group’s /zigman2/quotes/204459500/composite IHG -2.49% stock also lifting before falling below flat in later trading.

“Adding to the upbeat mood, data revealed that U.K. manufacturing activity hit a 27-year high in April,” Griffiths added.

The IHS manufacturing purchasing managers index rose for the 11th straight month in a row in April to hit 60.9 — the highest reading since 1994.

Other stocks contributing to the FTSE 100’s relative strength were companies exposed to commodities prices.

“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.

Plus: Is there a new commodity supercycle? Maybe not, these analysts say.

Metals and mining stocks Rio Tinto /zigman2/quotes/208934945/delayed UK:RIO +0.51% , BHP /zigman2/quotes/203323256/delayed UK:BHP +0.65% , Anglo American /zigman2/quotes/201381512/delayed UK:AAL -0.20% , Glencore /zigman2/quotes/201400686/delayed UK:GLEN -0.42% , Polymetal International /zigman2/quotes/204469675/delayed UK:POLY +2.94% , and Fresnillo /zigman2/quotes/201300065/delayed UK:FRES +1.98% all surged, as did shares in major oil companies BP /zigman2/quotes/202286639/delayed UK:BP -0.34% and Royal Dutch Shell /zigman2/quotes/206428183/delayed UK:RDSA -0.40% .

Technology stocks added weakness to London’s key index, with shares in industrial software group Aveva /zigman2/quotes/202038414/delayed UK:AVV -1.58% , online grocery and robotics logistics group Ocado /zigman2/quotes/207225647/delayed UK:OCDO -1.20% , and food-delivery player Just Eat Takeaway /zigman2/quotes/216303066/delayed UK:JET -3.45% all sinking.

/zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed
UK : FTSE UK
7,204.55
+14.25 +0.20%
Volume: 464,760
Oct. 22, 2021 4:57p
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/zigman2/quotes/202877789/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 43.16
+0.30 +0.70%
Volume: 17.18M
Oct. 22, 2021 4:02p
P/E Ratio
18.48
Dividend Yield
3.61%
Market Cap
$240.30 billion
Rev. per Employee
$533,860
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/zigman2/quotes/205619834/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 326.54
-13.03 -3.84%
Volume: 7.78M
Oct. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
40.76
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$137.07 billion
Rev. per Employee
$617,996
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/zigman2/quotes/200304487/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 61.79
+0.57 +0.93%
Volume: 4.00M
Oct. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
43.13
Dividend Yield
2.22%
Market Cap
$189.76 billion
Rev. per Employee
$362,602
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/zigman2/quotes/201724570/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 163.72
+0.32 +0.20%
Volume: 4.30M
Oct. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
24.47
Dividend Yield
2.59%
Market Cap
$430.15 billion
Rev. per Employee
$613,918
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208070069/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
156.06 p
-4.10 -2.56%
Volume: 23.57M
Oct. 22, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
£7.95 billion
Rev. per Employee
£120,743
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202825892/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
596.60 p
-3.20 -0.53%
Volume: 9.48M
Oct. 22, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
£4.53 billion
Rev. per Employee
£214,929
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202825892/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
596.60 p
-3.20 -0.53%
Volume: 9.48M
Oct. 22, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
£4.53 billion
Rev. per Employee
£214,929
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204459500/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 67.80
-1.73 -2.49%
Volume: 151,774
Oct. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$12.61 billion
Rev. per Employee
$188,016
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208934945/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
4,672.50 p
+23.50 +0.51%
Volume: 2.36M
Oct. 22, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
5.51
Dividend Yield
13.40%
Market Cap
£77.47 billion
Rev. per Employee
£732,787
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203323256/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
1,941.00 p
+12.60 +0.65%
Volume: 3.94M
Oct. 22, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
11.83
Dividend Yield
11.20%
Market Cap
£102.35 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201381512/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
2,757.00 p
-5.50 -0.20%
Volume: 1.62M
Oct. 22, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
6.95
Dividend Yield
6.37%
Market Cap
£33.91 billion
Rev. per Employee
£253,662
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201400686/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
367.00 p
-1.55 -0.42%
Volume: 22.07M
Oct. 22, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
33.58
Dividend Yield
2.37%
Market Cap
£48.50 billion
Rev. per Employee
£765,499
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204469675/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
1,417.50 p
+40.50 +2.94%
Volume: 1.41M
Oct. 22, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
8.07
Dividend Yield
6.85%
Market Cap
£6.52 billion
Rev. per Employee
£185,178
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201300065/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
916.60 p
+17.80 +1.98%
Volume: 1.04M
Oct. 22, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
14.86
Dividend Yield
2.59%
Market Cap
£6.62 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202286639/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
355.00 p
-1.20 -0.34%
Volume: 23.39M
Oct. 22, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
11.50
Dividend Yield
4.47%
Market Cap
£70.80 billion
Rev. per Employee
£2.21M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206428183/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
£ 1,749.20
-7.00 -0.40%
Volume: 2.60M
Oct. 22, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
35.35
Dividend Yield
0.04%
Market Cap
£136.17 billion
Rev. per Employee
£1.52M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202038414/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
3,676.00 p
-59.00 -1.58%
Volume: 207,379
Oct. 22, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
267.15
Dividend Yield
0.98%
Market Cap
£11.25 billion
Rev. per Employee
£174,553
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207225647/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
1,816.50 p
-22.00 -1.20%
Volume: 479,673
Oct. 22, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
£13.62 billion
Rev. per Employee
£125,244
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/216303066/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
5,741.00 p
-205.00 -3.45%
Volume: 106,978
Oct. 22, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
£12.65 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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