Stocks open lower; travel companies sink following attacks

AP News
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Posted: Mar 22, 2016 9:45 AM
Stocks open lower; travel companies sink following attacks

U.S. stocks are opening broadly lower, led by declines in travel-related companies following the attacks in Belgium.

Airlines, cruise companies and travel booking sites were among the biggest decliners early Tuesday. Delta Air Lines and Carnival each lost 3 percent.

Energy and materials companies were also lower. The price of crude oil slipped.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 47 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,573 as of 9:35 a.m. Eastern time.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost eight points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,043. The Nasdaq composite gave up 15 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,793.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.90 percent.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

The deadly attacks at the Brussels international airport and at a subway station in the heart of the city weighed on European stock markets Tuesday though the scale of the retreat has been fairly muted.

KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 0.6 percent at 6,149 while Germany's DAX fell 0.5 percent to 9,898. The CAC-40 in France was 0.8 percent lower at 4,392. Belgium's BEL 20 index was down 0.4 percent at 3,404. Wall Street was poised for modest losses at the open with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures both down 0.53 percent.

BRUSSELS ATTACKS: The attacks in Brussels drove financial markets though the scale of the moves was not hugely dramatic. The explosions at Zaventem airport and at the Maelbeek metro station have seen at least 26 people killed, according to local reports and media. Belgium has raised its terror alert to the highest level, diverting planes and trains and ordering people to stay where they were. Airports across Europe have tightened security and political leaders from around the world have voiced their solidarity with Belgium.

MARKET REACTION: "It's always a sad day when terrorism has to be the driver to kick markets from their state of calm," said Mike van Dulken, Head of Research at Accendo Markets. "It's also a sign of times when the market response is — in relative terms — so muted. Investors have had to develop a thick skin for such horrific events over the years."

GOLD GAINS: Gold, which is widely considered to be a safe haven asset at the time of tension, advanced. The precious metal was up 0.9 percent at $1,255 an ounce.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 climbed 1.9 percent to 17,048.55. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index shed early gains to shed 0.1 percent at 20,666.75. South Korea's Kospi gained 0.4 percent to 1,996.81 and Australia's S&P ASX 200 edged up 0.1 percent at 5,230.80. The Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.6 percent at 2,999.36.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 55 cents to $40.96 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oils, fell 30 cents to $41.24.

CURRENCIES: The euro was down 0.2 percent at $1.1215 while the dollar fell 0.3 percent to 111.70 yen.