Airline and travel stocks rose a day after the Brussels attacks
London - AFP
European stock markets pushed higher on Wednesday, with airline and travel stocks in positive territory after the previous session's sharp falls caused by the Brussels attacks.
Asian markets broadly retreated, playing catch-up with losses incurred Tuesday across Europe and on Wall Street following the deadly bombings in the Belgian capital.
"European markets continue to show remarkable resilience in the face of yesterday's terrorist attacks, moving higher in early trade and continuing their defiant stance from yesterday which saw markets shrug off their early flight to safety and finish in positive territory," said Rebecca O'Keeffe, head of investment at stockbroker Interactive Investor.
Around 1030 GMT, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 0.1 percent compared with Tuesday's close. In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 won 1.0 percent and the Paris CAC 40 gained 0.5 percent.
The euro dropped against the dollar.
Two suicide bombers who struck Brussels were identified Wednesday as brothers linked to the prime suspect in the November 13 Paris attacks, as a manhunt for a third assailant in Belgium's bloodiest terror assault gained pace.
A day after the triple blasts that killed about 30 people and left around 250 injured, in an operation claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group, RTBF television said police had identified two suicide attackers as Khalid and Ibrahim El Bakraoui.
After sliding Tuesday, travel and airline stocks fought back with slight rebounds. Nearing midday, easyJet was up 1.0 percent, tourism group TUI won 0.2 percent, hotels company Accor gained 0.4 percent and airline Deutsche Lufthansa rose 0.7 percent.
Asian investors played it safe with few catalysts to drive trade as dealers eye the long Easter break that starts Friday, analysts said.
The mood across regional trading floors remained "cautious to negative", Jackson Wong, Hong Kong-based associate director at Simsen Financial Group, told AFP.
"Investors are reluctant to get in (the market) at this point," Wong said.
All Nippon Airways lost 0.51 percent and Korean Air Lines dropped 1.48 percent in trading on Wednesday.
In US deals on Tuesday, Expedia, American Airlines and Delta all slipped.
Bernard Aw, a market analyst at IG trading group, said "the impact of terror attacks on financial markets has become less and less dramatic in recent years, compared with the aftermath of the September 11 attacks".
- Key figures around 1030 GMT -
London - FTSE 100: UP 0.1 percent at 6,201.26
Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 1.0 percent at 10,087.74
Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.5 percent at 4,454.17
EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.6 percent at 3,068.57
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.3 percent at 17,000.98 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.4 percent at 3,009.96 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.3 percent at 20,615.23 (close)
New York - Dow: DOWN 0.2 percent at 17,582.57 (close)
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1189 from $1.1216 on Tuesday