European Hotel Stocks Fall as Brussels Rocked by Explosions

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Shares of European hotel companies fell after two explosions ripped through a Brussels airport departure hall and a third rocked a downtown subway station on Tuesday morning, causing deaths and injuries.

The Bloomberg Europe Lodging Index, composed of the seven leading lodging stocks, fell as much as 4.1 percent, the most since Feb. 11. Accor SA the continent’s biggest hotel operator, led declines, dropping as much as 6 percent to 37.63 euros, also the most since Feb. 11. Intercontinental Hotels Group Plc declined as much as 3.3 percent. The lodging index has declined about 11 percent since Nov. 12, the day before attacks in Paris left 130 people dead.

“The affect of any cancellations probably won’t be felt immediately, but instead will play out in coming months as and when people who may have been thinking of travelling to Europe change their minds and simply don’t book,” Tim Craighead, a research director at Bloomberg Intelligence, said in an e-mail. "The summer holiday period will be key."

Passengers said the Brussels bombs went off in rapid succession around 8 a.m., the peak check-in hour for morning flights within Europe. Belgian police said there was at least one dead, while VTM news put the toll at 11, citing a local fire department. An hour later, an explosion hit a subway station a short walk from European Union headquarters.

Panicked travelers were shown fleeing toward the airport parking garage in television images and takeoffs and landings were suspended. Belgium has been on high alert after the capture Salah Abdeslam, believed to be the only surviving participant of the massacre in Paris. Abdeslam faces a Brussels court decision on Wednesday on whether to extend a Belgian arrest warrant issued on Saturday.