European luxury and travel stocks gain as China lifts bans on group tours

MILAN (Reuters) -Luxury and travel stocks were among the leading gainers in Europe on Thursday as investors cheered China’s decision to lift a ban on group tours in the United States and other key markets.

A gauge of top luxury stocks was up 1.9% while the region’s travel and leisure index gained 1%, both outperforming a positive market.

Shares in luxury group LVMH rose 2%, while Air France, which has a long-haul business, led gains in the travel sector, up 1.9%.

“I don’t think it has a significant impact on the numbers, also because the Chinese were already travelling quite a bit; I think it is more a question of sentiment,” said Angelo Meda, head of equities at Banor SIM in Milan.

He added luxury stocks were also supported by an $8.5 billion deal to acquire Michael Kors owner Capri Holdings.

China said on Thursday it had lifted pandemic-era restrictions on group tours for more countries, including key markets such as the United States, Japan, South Korea and Australia in a potential boon for their tourism industries.

(Reporting by Danilo Masoni Editing by Amanda Cooper and Mark Potter)