London stocks slide as Spain quarantine hits airlines

(Reuters) - UK shares dipped on Monday as a two-week quarantine on all travellers from Spain hammered airline stocks, with simmering U.S.-China tensions and a surge in global COVID-19 cases also sparking a flight from risk assets.

FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen outside the entrance of the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain. Aug 23, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

The blue-chip FTSE 100 .FTSE was down 0.2%, with a 9.2% plunge for British Airways-owner IAG ICAG.L putting the company on course for its worst day since March. The mid-cap FTSE 250 .FTMC was off 0.5%.

London-listed shares of Europe's biggest holiday company, TUI AG TUIT.L, tumbled 11.7% after the company said it had decided to cancel all holidays to mainland Spain through Aug. 9 following the UK's decision to quarantine travellers.

EasyJet EZJ.L and Carnival CCl.L were also among the biggest decliners on the FTSE 250, with the wider travel and leisure sector .FTNMX5750 losing 2.4%.

“We had a pretty decent rally (in the past few months) and some of these stocks got a little overbought in anticipation that things are going to get back to normal very smoothly,” said Keith Temperton, analyst at Lombard Forte.

UK stock markets have rebounded sharply from a coronavirus-driven selloff in March as a raft of global stimulus and easing business restrictions fuelled optimism about a swift post-pandemic economic recovery.

But with the relentless surge in global coronavirus infections raising the spectre of another round of lockdowns, investors are betting on more government and central bank stimulus to blunt the business damage from the pandemic.

Mining stocks .FTNMX1770 outperformed the wider FTSE 100 on Monday as hopes of more U.S. coronavirus stimulus drove up London copper prices. [MET/L]

Autos .FTNMX3350, banks .FTNMX8350 and aerospace-related stocks .FTNMX2710 were among the biggest decliners.

Antofagasta ANTO.L rose 2.9% to the top of the FTSE 100 as the union of workers at its Zaldivar copper mine in northern Chile told Reuters that it had reached a contract deal with the Chilean-based miner, averting the risk of a walk-off.

Graphic: Travel and leisure stocks -

Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Sherry Jacob-Phillips