By Barbara Kollmeyer
Travel-related stocks came under pressure on Friday in the U.K., after the government added to its “green list” of countries citizens can travel to without quarantining, but left off tourist hotspots Greece and mainland Spain.
The FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.20% rose 0.3% to 7,129.58, underpinned by resource stocks. The British pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD +0.0454% was trading flat at $1.3922 following a weaker performance on Thursday after the Bank of England decided stay put on interest rates and bond purchases.
The U.K. government on Thursday added Malta, Madeira, the Balearics and some Caribbean islands to its green list of destinations. Local media in Malta reported that the government will allow fully vaccinated Brits into the country.
The U.K. also announced plans to drop quarantine rules for fully vaccinated travelers returning home from countries on its amber list, with details to be announced next month.
The industry remains “frustrated at restrictions which continue to cast a cloud over whether the public will be able to freely visit popular destinations this summer such as mainland Spain and Greece,” said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, in a note to clients.
“Airlines continue to face pressure on earnings, yet other sectors are enjoying a post-lockdown boost,” he said.
And while the regional government of the Balearic Islands welcomed being added to the green list, officials there have asked the Madrid government to impose tighter restrictions on U.K. visitors, who are currently allowed to enter without negative COVID-19 tests or proof of vaccination.
Friday brought news of hundreds of positive cases across Spain and thousands of quarantines linked to end-of-year school trips on the island of Mallorca, part of the Balearic Islands.
As well, some European leaders reportedly said they planned to follow the advice of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and tighten up borders to keep out the highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19 that has spread across the U.K.
Among those travel-related companies, shares of InterContinental Hotels Group /zigman2/quotes/204459500/composite IHG +1.14% /zigman2/quotes/202865596/delayed UK:IHG -0.21% slipped 2.3%, cruise company Carnival /zigman2/quotes/210414141/delayed UK:CCL -0.99% fell 1.5% and International Consolidated Airlines /zigman2/quotes/208070069/delayed UK:IAG -2.33% dipped 2%. Shares of low-cost airline easyJet /zigman2/quotes/202825892/delayed UK:EZJ -1.96% and TUI /zigman2/quotes/207049334/delayed UK:TUI +1.08% dropped more than 1% each.
Supporting the FTSE 100 were gains in shares of miners and oil companies after President Joe Biden announced that he and a bipartisan group of lawmakers had reached a deal on a $1 trillion infrastructure package, driving hopes it will spur economic growth further.
Shares of Anglo American /zigman2/quotes/201381512/delayed UK:AAL +0.35% and Rio Tinto /zigman2/quotes/208934945/delayed UK:RIO +0.70% /zigman2/quotes/202627887/composite RIO -0.44% rose 2.6% and 0.9%, respectively. Shares in Royal Dutch Shell /zigman2/quotes/206428183/delayed UK:RDSA -0.48% /zigman2/quotes/206428183/delayed UK:RDSA -0.48% gained 1.3% and BP stock rose /zigman2/quotes/202286639/delayed UK:BP -0.75% /zigman2/quotes/202286639/delayed UK:BP -0.75% 0.7%.