Stocks around the globe tumbled today after investors questioned whether a quick economic recovery from coronavirus was still possible.
Investors have been watching China closely as it was the first to go into lockdown and the first to come back out. In theory China should be in full scale recovery mode.
But data overnight revealed that China is not recovering as quickly as first thought, with industrial production and retail sales numbers both down. Retail sales could be down because of flooding in the south of the country since June.
Nevertheless it was enough to spook investors who are also awaiting progress in negotiations between the US and China trade talks which are due to restart in the coming days.
The two economic superpowers have been embroiled in a trade war since 2018 that has damaged the world economy.
In London airline and travel stocks were hammered today after the implementation of new quarantine rules by the UK government on travel between France and the Netherlands, which are due to take effect from 4am Saturday morning.
The new measures sent UK tourists flocking to airports across France as holidaymakers tried to return home before the new rules came into place. The move will affect some 160,000 British holidaymakers currently in France according to official data.
Easyjet was down 44p at 567p, while Birtish Airways owner IAG lost 14p at 190p. TUI also slipped back 20p at 324p.
There are now growing fears from investors that travel and airline companies will require government aid to survive the crisis.
Neil Wilson, at Markets.com, said: "A coup de foudre is what you could call this for airlines. Airline and other travel stocks were hammered by the France blow.
"These stocks are going to remain under a tonne of pressure as the exit from the pandemic is not a straight line - and until we have full confidence restored foreign travel is among the first things people forego – particularly if there is risk that your holiday is going to be cancelled."
It comes a day after airlines lowered their European traffic outlook, with the International Air Transport Association predicting a 60% decline in passenger numbers for 2020 after a summer that has fallen short of recovery hopes.