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European travel and leisure stocks fall after EgyptAir plane goes missing

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[LONDON] European travel and leisure stocks fell and underperformed a weaker, broader market on Thursday after EgyptAir said a plane carrying more than 60 passengers and crew had gone missing.

The sector was also hit after holiday company Thomas Cook reported a 5 per cent drop in its summer bookings.

Thomas Cook shares slumped 16.5 per cent, their lowest level since March 2013, after saying that tourists had shunned Turkey, its second-most popular destination last year.

Airline stocks also fell after an EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo went missing on Thursday, disappearing from radar over the Mediterranean Sea, Egypt's national airline said.

Officials with the airline and the Egyptian civil aviation department told Reuters they believed the Airbus A320 probably crashed into the sea.

Shares in Airbus, Air France KLM, Lufthansa, British Airways' owner International Consolidated Airlines Group and Aeroports De Paris were all down 0.4 to 1.6 per cent.

Other stocks in the sector also fell, with Accor, TUI and InterContinental Hotels down 1.8 to 3.7 per cent.

The STOXX Europe 600 Travel and Leisure index was down 1.1 per cent, underperforming a 0.8 per cent fall on the broader, pan-European STOXX 600 index.

REUTERS