Cruise stocks drop on worries over European demand

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Shares of the world’s largest cruise operators fell sharply on Wednesday on concerns about demand in Europe and on a drop in the broader stock market.

New York-listed shares of Carnival Corp CCL.NCCL.L fell 3.6 percent to $33.09. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd RCL.NRCL.OL stock slumped 4.9 percent to $26.74.

The S&P 500 .SPX fell 2.1 percent, hurt by weak manufacturing data from China and a gloomy growth outlook from the Federal Reserve. .N

The slump in the stock market came a day after Europe's biggest travel company, TUI Travel TUIGn.DETT.L, said strong booking patterns seen in early May were not sustained during the early summer period.

Europe is seen as a major growth spot for the cruise industry.

“TUI Travel (Plc’s) cautionary comments coupled (with) recent comments from European-based consumer staple companies of slowing demand cannot be dismissed and will bear ongoing close monitoring,” Wells Fargo analyst Timothy Conder said in a research note Wednesday.

But Condor, who has “outperform” ratings on both Carnival and Royal Caribbean, added that booking and pricing trends for European-based cruise consumers remained “encouraging.”

Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn