Sterling strength weighed on the multitude of UK stocks that earn in dollars, dragging the FTSE 100 down 0.3% to 7,071. Miners and various large companies that do business in overseas territories were in negative territory, including Unilever and HSBC, says Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.
“Investors were more optimistic about the travel and leisure sector on increased hopes that many travel restrictions will be lifted soon. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has relaxed travel advice for more than 110 countries and territories, thereby increasing the earnings prospects for companies that provide transport or accommodation.
“Hotel stocks Whitbread and InterContinental Hotels were both among the biggest risers on the FTSE and airline stocks across Europe were in demand, including Air France, Lufthansa and International Consolidated Airlines.
“These companies need all the good news they can get, given how so many other businesses have put Covid in the rear-view mirror and are making plans for the future. Travel and leisure companies have been stuck in survival mode and desperately want to move forward.”