The reopening of European borders and a push from top European tourist summer destinations for Britain to abandon its two-week quarantine for travelers is lifting the airline and travel sectors. British Airways parent IAG is trading up an impressive 11.6% and easyJet is following suit with a 9% rally. Cruise operator Carnival is also trading higher as investors are pinning their hopes that Britons will travel abroad this summer after all.
The market rally shows that Britain still has one foot in the pandemic – shops and bars remain closed while concerts, festivals and cinemas are not even on the agenda - while the other foot is out and marching ahead as the country is trying to negotiate its way back to a fully functioning economy. Retail and property shares are already pricing in the reopening of stores next week and an expected return of buyers to the housing market. Yet grim data keeps dousing some of the optimism.
German manufacturing orders saw the largest drop on record in April, falling 25.8%, British consumer confidence fell in May to the lowest level since the global financial crisis and UK house prices fell for a third straight month, although the decline was slightly smaller than in April.
The ECB’s decision Thursday to provide a €600bn stimulus injection to European economies will go some way to help European businesses and industries pick up quickly once all the restrictions are fully lifted and help them mend the damage from the pandemic.