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Lufthansa, Airbus shares slide on plane crash

Mar 24 2015 15:22

London - Shares in European planemaker Airbus and German airline Lufthansa tumbled after a plane in its low-cost division Germanwings with 150 people on board crashed in the French Alps on Tuesday.

The Airbus A320 jet, on its way from Barcelona to Dusseldorf, came down near a ski resort in the Barcelonnette area in south-eastern France, officials said.

"In light of the information available at the present time we cannot say whether there are survivors or how many there might be," Germanwings chief executive, Oliver Wagner, said in a brief statement on German television.

READ: Lufthansa says dark day for airline after plane crash

In late morning deals, Lufthansa's share price dived more than four percent in Frankfurt.

The stock stood at €13.42 in early afternoon trade, down 2.58% from Monday and the worst performer on the German stock market.

Airbus shares sank 1.92% to €58.85, also making it the heaviest faller in Paris.

"Tragically, market movement cannot always been driven by pure stats," said Connor Campbell, analyst at Spreadex trading group.

"News that a Germanwings plane has crashed in the south of France caused a fall in (the share price of) Lufthansa... alongside Airbus, the plane's manufacturer," he told AFP.

European stock markets however were steady overall.

Frankfurt's benchmark DAX 30 index of top companies was flat at 11 896 points, while the CAC 40 in Paris edged up 0.12% to 5 060.30 points.

London's FTSE 100 index of leading shares was 0.01% lower at 7 036.70 points.

"Very sad news and we have seen airline names drop on the back of this," said Guardian Stockbrokers analyst Atif Latif.

"The Airbus A320 is one of the most popular aircraft and (this incident) will question the safety aspect."

Shares in Air France-KLM were down 0.60% at €7.60 in Paris, while British low-cost carrier easyJet fell 0.37% to 1,861 pence.

However, British Airways and Iberia owner International Airlines Group saw its shares climb 2.03% to 604 pence, topping the risers board on the FTSE 100.

Earlier on Tuesday, Europe's main stock markets had fallen in the wake of disappointing Chinese manufacturing data.

READ: China factory sector dips to 11-month low

Asian equity markets mostly turned lower after a gauge of Chinese manufacturing plunged to an 11-month low in March.

In foreign exchange activity on Tuesday, the European single currency edged up to $1.0974 from $1.0945 late on Monday in New York.

The euro won a modest boost from hopes of a breakthrough in Greece's bailout talks with Germany.

Comments from the US Federal Reserve's vice chairperson suggesting interest rates would rise more slowly than expected put further downward pressure on the dollar.

airbus  |  lufthansa
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