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Airlines, insurers and energy top coronavirus stock market fallers

Biggest losers from coronavirus: Airline, insurance and energy shares take the heaviest beating with some losing two-thirdsThe share prices of insurance firms M&G, and Prudential have all fallen heavilySince the FTSE 100 peaked on 17 January at 7,675, it has plunged by over a thirdTravel firm Tui’s value has declined by 69 per cent in…

Biggest losers from coronavirus: Airline, insurance and energy shares take the heaviest beating with some losing two-thirds

  • The share prices of insurance firms M&G, and Prudential have all fallen heavily
  • Since the FTSE 100 peaked on 17 January at 7,675, it has plunged by over a third
  • Travel firm Tui’s value has declined by 69 per cent in the last month
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

By Harry Wise For This Is Money

Published: | Updated:

Stock market carnage has hit shares across the board, but the four biggest FTSE 100 fallers in the last four weeks have been airlines and travel firms.

The value of stocks in Tui, International Airlines Group, and EasyJet have all plummeted by more than half in the last month as the coronavirus outbreak has forced airlines all over the world to cut flights and ground planes.

Today, the FTSE 100 closed down another 4 per cent at 5,151 and the leading London stock market index is down 33 per cent on its mid-January high of 7,675.

Tui’s value has declined by 68.9 per cent in the last month, more than any other FTSE 100 firm, while IAG’s share price has decreased by 59.4 per cent and 56.7 per cent. Cruise operator Carnival has dropped by two thirds meanwhile.

The stock market has had a terrible month, with airline stocks among the worst affected

British Airways, whose parent company is IAG, EasyJet and Tui have grounded or are about to ground airplanes in the coming days. BA’s chief executive told staff in an email last week that job losses were inevitable. 

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, stated that the industry is in a ‘precarious position’ and that the different competitors would need considerable sums of money ‘to survive what could be one of the hardest ever years for the industry.’

The 20 worst performing companies on the FTSE 100 in the last four weeks

‘The sector has a reputation for being heavily indebted and a poor track record for seeing through crises. We’ve already seen Flybe go into administration and we will no doubt see more airlines fail.

He added: ‘EasyJet and International Consolidated Airlines have both announced that unprecedented levels of travel restrictions could see a large amount of their fleet grounded. Beyond using the time to do some maintenance, the airlines will simply be sitting on their hands.’ 

The lack of travel is beginning to bite insurance firms, such as M&G (down 55.2 per cent), Prudential (down 53 per cent), and Legal & General (down 47 per cent) who are facing both an accelerating increase in payouts and significant investment losses.

The 20 worst performing companies on the FTSE 350 in the last four weeks

Since the FTSE 100 peaked this year on 17 January at 7,675, it has plunged by a third, with the bulk of the drop having occurred since 24 February.

The FTSE 350 on the other hand has seen companies with much more severe percentage point decreases in value, with the biggest 11 fallers all having declined by a greater percentage value than Tui.

Oil, insurance and hospitality businesses have also seen massive drops in their share price, with two of the five worst FTSE 350 companies in the previous month being Premier Oil and Tullow Oil, which have declined 86.7 per cent and 81.1 per cent respectively.

The FTSE 100 has plunged by over a third to less than 5,000 today, with the bulk of the drop having occurred since 24 February

The oil sector has been especially hurt in the last seven days by the oil price’s collapse following a fallout between Saudi Arabia and Russia.  

Hotel chains like Whitbread’s Premier Inn have been severely impacted as well, declining 49.4 per cent due to fewer holidays that have resulted from the growing flight restrictions imposed by countries. 

Aside from the reduced hotel stays, says Mould, ‘the suppliers to these outlets will also be feeling the pain. The trickle-down effect will stretch even further.’

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