Monday, April 27, 2009

Stocks get another punch in the gut - but pharmaceuticals soar

SHOOT: British Airways has crashed by 17%. Some drug makers have seen their value go up over 20%, and in one case, a vaccine maker, by over 70%.
clipped from

Fears over a potential global flu pandemic have spooked financial markets worldwide, sparking fears that the spread of the disease could derail any recovery in the world economy.

The outbreak of swine flu in Mexico has rapidly claimed more than 100 lives, with another 400 people in hospitals around the country - while 20 confirmed cases have been found in the US. The news sent airline and tourism stocks plunging today while shares in drug companies and medical glovemakers soared. The dollar dropped to its lowest level against the yen and the Mexican peso lost about 3% in electronic trading last night. Oil prices also fell.

British Airways plunged nearly 17% to 139.7p and travel stocks including TUI and Thomas Cook were also among the biggest losers. Pharmaceutical companies GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Shire and Smith and Nephew rallied. GSK gained more than 4% to £10.51.
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