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Airline shares take off on bullish United outlook
Shares in European airlines took off Thursday after United Airlines forecast surging travel demand as the pandemic impact fades on the aviation sector.
British Airways parent IAG and low-cost rival EasyJet saw their share prices soar by about six percent nearing midday in London.
France's Air France-KLM stock jumped around four percent in early afternoon deals in Paris and Germany's Lufthansa gained a similar proportion in Frankfurt.
Overnight, US carrier United Airlines forecast "the strongest second-quarter revenue guidance in company history" despite logging another Covid-induced loss for the first quarter.
The news also sent United shares leaping in after-hours trade.
"The European aviation sector is benefitting from the general improving sentiment related to the pandemic recovery which has clearly helped restore faith in some of the most hit segments of the economy," XTB analyst Walid Koudmani told AFP.
"After what has been a very difficult few years for the aviation industry, as a result of lockdowns and alarming inflation, United Airlines' outlook certainly inspired some confidence."
The aviation sector was ravaged by the Covid crisis that erupted in early 2020, decimating demand and grounding planes worldwide.
United's outlook helped spark bumper gains on the Frankfurt and Paris stock exchanges on Thursday.
- Oil rebounds -
The London market, however, flatlined, hit by poor earnings news from mining giants Anglo American and Antofagasta.
Anglo shares tanked nine percent and Antofagasta shed almost three percent after both posted sliding first-quarter output, partly on Covid fallout.
Elsewhere Thursday, world oil prices rebounded after diving the previous session on weaker demand concerns.
Stock markets in Hong Kong and Shanghai fell sharply on heightened anxiety over China's renewed Covid lockdowns and curbs on tech companies.
Tokyo, however, rallied on optimism over a falling yen, which boosts exporters.
Wall Street had finished mixed Wednesday, with focus on Netflix whose shares plunged after the streaming giant reported a drop in subscribers.
- Key figures around 1045 GMT -
Frankfurt - DAX: UP 1.4 percent at 14,564.58 points
Paris - CAC 40: UP 1.6 percent at 6,733.29
London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 7,625.56
EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.3 percent at 3,945.44
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 1.2 percent at 27,553.06 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 1.3 percent at 20,682.22 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 2.3 percent at 3,079.81 (close)
New York - Dow: UP 0.7 percent at 35,160.79 (close)
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0912 from $1.0853 late on Wednesday
Dollar/yen: UP at 128.09 yen from 127.86 yen
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3063 from $1.3068
Euro/pound: UP at 83.53 pence from 83.05 pence
Brent North Sea crude: UP 1.3 percent at $108.13 per barrel
West Texas Intermediate: UP 1.1 percent at $103.28 per barrel