European stocks fall after Thomas Cook collapses; TUI shares jump 8%

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European shares were lower Monday morning, as investors reacted to the collapse of one of the world’s most well-known tour operators.

European Markets: FTSE, GDAXI, FCHI, IBEX

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down around 0.7% shortly after the opening bell, with most sectors and major bourses in negative territory.

Several sectors were trading more than 1% lower during early morning deals, with mining stocks leading the losses. Steel producer ArcelorMittal slumped to the bottom of the benchmark, with shares down more than 5%.

Meanwhile, travel and leisure stocks were the top performers on Monday, trading over 0.4% higher. It comes after British tour operator Thomas Cook collapsed early Monday morning, leaving thousands of holidaymakers stranded.

CEO Peter Fankhauser apologized to the group’s customers and staff, adding it was “a matter of profound regret” the firm was unable to secure a rescue package from its lenders. The tour operator’s failure has put 22,000 jobs at risk worldwide.

CEO Peter Fankhauser apologized to the group’s customers and staff, adding it was “a matter of profound regret” the firm was unable to secure a rescue package from its lenders. The tour operator’s failure has put 22,000 jobs at risk worldwide.

European airlines and tour operator TUI rose to the top of the benchmark during morning trade. The collapse of Thomas Cook could cut come overcapacity that has hurt profits and weighed on holiday prices in recent years, Reuters reported, citing traders. Shares of TUI jumped more than 8%.

Trade developments

Market focus was largely attuned to the latest progress in U.S.-China trade negotiations. The two countries had described their latest talks as “productive” and “constructive,” but stocks on Wall Street fell Friday after Beijing officials canceled a visit to U.S. farms in Montana, cutting their trip to the country short.

Washington and Beijing have slapped tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of each other’s goods since the start of an intense trade dispute which began last year.

Back in Europe, Britain’s opposition Labour Party kicked off its annual party conference over the weekend. According to Reuters, the party is expected to decide between two Brexit policies on Monday — to campaign to remain in the EU in a second referendum or defer a decision on what position to take until after an election. The U.K. is slated to leave the EU on Oct. 31.

In oil markets, crude prices rose sharply on Monday as Middle East tensions remained elevated following attacks on two Saudi production facilities earlier this month, which the U.S. has blamed on Iran. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday said Washington wanted to avoid war but was deploying additional troops to the Gulf region for “deterrence and defense.”

Brent crude soared over 0.8% to $64.82 a barrel while U.S. WTI crude was up almost 1% at $58.65.

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