French businesses reopen after attacks

Marketplace Staff Nov 17, 2015

From our partners at the BBC:

Shops and businesses in Paris have been trying to return to normal in a city still mourning the death of 129 people killed in terror attacks on Friday.

People in France and across Europe observed a one-minute silence at midday local time (11:00 GMT).

France’s stock market closed in negative territory, with the Cac 40 share index down 0.08 percent. 

Tourist attractions such as the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower have reopened. They closed over the weekend because of concerns about security.

As evening fell, the Eiffel Tower was due to be lit up in the colours of the French flag, along with a projection of the city’s defiant motto – “tossed but not sunk.”

In recent days, monuments around the world have been lit in the colours of the tricolour, in a show of sympathy with Paris.

French Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin said that although France had suffered a tragic event, “culture is more than ever this symbolic place of self-discovery.”

Disneyland Paris is expected to reopen on Wednesday.

Flights, trains and ferries into and out of France are all running, but they have warned passengers to allow extra time for border controls.

Tourism warning

Tourism, which accounts for more than 7 percent of France’s GDP, is expected to suffer, but to what degree remains uncertain.

The Paris tourist office said the number of hotel stays fell 3.3 percent in the first three months of this year following attacks in January, when Islamist gunmen targeted the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, a Jewish supermarket and a policewoman on patrol.

Travel and leisure stocks are lower as a result of Friday’s events.

Shares in French hotel group Accor fell 4.75 percent on the Paris exchange, while the country’s main airline group Air France-KLM dropped 5.32% and Eurotunnel was 3.04 percent weaker.

Consumer confidence could also be dented at a time when the French economy is struggling to grow.

Luxury stocks such as Hermes and LVMH closed down more than 1 percent because a large part of their sales come from foreign tourists flocking to Paris.

Gregoire Laverne, fund manager at Roche-Brune Asset Management, said: “Paris is one of the most important cities worldwide in terms of luxury spending and the timing is not good too – a few weeks before Christmas, the most important period for retailers.”

The Euro 2016 football finals in France are expected to go ahead as planned next summer.

The tournament final is due to be held on 10 July at the Stade de France, outside which three suicide bombs were detonated on Friday.

Cancelling the finals would be “playing the game of the terrorists”, tournament organiser Jacques Lambert told French radio station RTL.

 

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