What to watch: Travel stocks plummet on Spain quarantine, AstraZeneca's $6bn cancer deal, and gold surges

Oscar Williams-Grut
·Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
·3 min read
File - In this Nov. 12, 2009 file photo, Iberia planes are seen parked-up at Barajas airport in Madrid. Qatar Airways announced Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, that it has bought nearly 10 percent of the parent company of British Airways and Spain's Iberia, deepening wealthy Qatar's business ties to Europe and intensifying competition with the airline's fast-growing Gulf rivals. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano, File)
Shares in Iberia owner IAG slumped after the UK re-introduced a 14-day quarantine for travellers to Spain over the weekend. Photo: Victor R Caivano/AP

Here are the top business, market, and economic stories you should be watching today in the UK, Europe, and abroad:

Travel stocks plummet on Spain quarantine

Airline and travel-related stocks plummeted on Monday in London, responding to the re-introduction by the UK of a 14-day quarantine for travellers to Spain.

The UK government announced over the weekend that visitors to Spain would once again have to isolate for two weeks following an uptick in COVID-19 cases there. In the last week, new cases have once again risen above 1,000 a day.

Shares in British Airways and Iberia-owner IAG (IAG.L) fell 10%, hitting the bottom of the FTSE 100.

Travel agent Tui (TUI.L) saw its stock fall 13.5%. The company said on Sunday it would cancel all flights to Spain in response to the government’s ban.

EasyJet (EZJ.L) fell 12.9% and Stobart Group (STOB.L), which owns Southend Airport, fell 9.9%. Cruise operator Carnival’s (CCL.L) stock dropped 7.8%.

Shares in Ryanair (RYA.L) fell 7.7%. The Irish carrier on Monday announced first quarter results, showing it lost €185m (£168.7m) in the three months to the end of June.

AstraZeneca's $6bn cancer deal

Drug giant AstraZeneca (AZN.L) has agreed to pay up to $6bn (£4.7bn) for an innovative new cancer treatment.

AstraZeneca hopes DS-1062, a new way of treating multiple tumours, can help against certain types of lung and breast cancers.

The drug is still in development and AstraZeneca has agreed to pay $1bn to Japanese pharmaceutical giant Daiichi Sankyo up front, with a further $5bn due if the treatment reaches certain milestones.

Daiichi Sankyo will keep rights to distribute the drug in Japan while AstraZeneca will gain international rights.

“We are delighted to enter this new collaboration with Daiichi Sankyo and to build on the successful launch of Enhertu to further expand our pipeline and leadership in oncology,” AstraZeneca chief executive Pascal Soriot said in a statement.

“We now have six potential blockbusters in oncology with more to come in our early and late pipelines.”

Shares rose 0.2%.

Gold surges

The price of gold hit a new all-time high on Monday morning, extending a recent rally driven by weakness in the dollar.

Gold (GC=F) was up 1.3% to $1,928.90 (£1,504.72) per ounce in early trade in London. Overnight, the precious metal had touched $1,931.90 per ounce.

Gold and silver prices have been rallying in recent weeks as the US dollar has weakened. The dollar has fallen over 4% against both the pound (USDGBP=X) and the euro (USDEUR=X) over the last month. The decline of the dollar has coincided with huge spikes in COVID-19 cases in many US states, such as Florida and Texas.

The cheap dollar appears to have spurred investors to move their money into precious metals in a bit to preserve the value of their capital. Silver (SI=F) was also rallying strongly on Monday, up 6.3% to $22.37 per ounce.

Stocks dip

European stock markets were weak in early trade, following a cautious session in Asia overnight. The FTSE (^FTSE) and the CAC 40 (^FCHI) were both down 04% an hour after the open, while the DAX (^GDAXI) was flat.

In Spain, the IBEX 35 (^IBEX) fell 1.4% in reaction to the UK quarantine.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei (^N225) and the Hong Kong Hang Seng (^HSI) both slipped 0.1%, the Shanghai Composite (000001.SS) was flat, and the Shenzen Component (399001.SZ) rose 0.1%. In Australia, the ASX 200 (^AXJO) rose 0.3%.

US futures were pointing to a higher open later today on Wall Street. S&P 500 futures (ES=F) and Dow Jones futures (YM=F) both up 0.2% and Nasdaq futures (NQ=F) were 0.4% higher.

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