Travel and leisure stocks fell on Wednesday after disappointing news on a coronavirus vaccine and incoming UK restrictions on social gatherings and new travel quarantines.
Also, Ryanair (LON:RYA) become the second major airline to cut its passenger target for the year.
The Irish budget airline cuts its target to 50mln for the year to the end of next March, from the 60mln forecast it had given in July and 80mln estimate made in May.
Fares will be much lower and there is a likelihood that flight numbers could be cut even further, boss Michael O’Leary told Reuters.
Earlier in the week, fellow low-cost airline Easyjet (LON:EZJ) said said it expected to fly “slightly less” than the 40% of planned capacity for the final quarter of its financial year it had indicated a month ago.
Overnight there was also news from AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) that its Oxford coronavirus vaccine trial has been “voluntarily paused” to allow a review after one patients suffered a “potentially unexplained illness”.
The drug developer said this is a “routine action” whenever someone is taken ill on a trial, but with the Oxford vaccine the UK government’s most promising candidate and with hopes that first of 100mln doses could be delivered by the end of this year, the news hit a number of sectors.
With rising case numbers around the country, Downing Street also said social gatherings of more than six people in England will be banned from Monday, apart from some exemptions such as gatherings for work, education, weddings, funerals, and organised team sports.
There were also media reports that Number 10 may be about to enforce quarantine on all travellers from all EU countries.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce the new rules at his first press conference since July, where a new public information campaign will also launched based on his “Hands, Face, Space” slogan.
Pubs and restaurant shares were hit too, with JD Wetherspoons (LON:JDW) and Restaurant Group (LON:RTN) both down 8%, Marston’s (LON:MARS) down 7%, Mitchells & Butlers (LON:MAB) down 3%, City Pub (LON:CPC) down 4%, restaurant owner Fulham Shore (LON:FUL) down 2%, and Young’s (LON:YNGA) and Fuller, Smith & Turner (LON:FSTA) down 1%.