European stocks fall and safe-haven assets, gold and government bonds rise after explosions in the Belgian capital, Brussels. Joel Flynn looks at the market reaction.
Another attack on mainland Europe saw investors fleeing for safety. Bombings at Brussels airport and a metro station in the Belgian capital rocking Europe - just four months after the Paris attacks. SOUNDBITE: IG Market Analyst, Chris Beauchamp, saying (English): "Stock markets low immediately on the news, recovering slightly on the wake of it. Slight moves higher in gold and some losses for the Sterling as well, those sort of safe-haven moves back towards the dollar and Japanese yen." Travel sector stocks were hit hardest, pulling down broader indices from multi-week highs. Thomas Cook reported its results just before the attacks. Its shares plunged as much as 7 percent. The British travel operator had already cited security concerns as one of the biggest risks to its business. SOUNDBITE: IG Market Analyst, Chris Beauchamp, saying (English): "If you have these greater worries among all of the Europeans about where they could go on holiday you will see a drop off in business, I think, to key destinations around the Mediterranean. It is a repeat of what we saw over the last few years over the Arab Spring and other events really." The attacks come at an already difficult time for Europe's economies. Stagnating growth struggling against the weight of the continent's refugee crisis. SOUNDBITE: IHS Jane's Terrorism And Insurgency Centre (JTIC) Manager, Matthew Henman, saying (English): "You already had a situation where the security services in France, Belgium, Germany, UK are stretched severely just trying to track returnees just coming back to these countries from Syria and Iraq." Before the attacks, markets had already been thin as investors looked to cash in on a rally in the last few weeks. Oil meanwhile seeing a rare day of stability, unchanged at 41 dollars a barrel.