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China Southern, Air China, AirAsia, Cathay retreat as SARS memories evoked – SHARE WRAP

Chinese airline stocks were savaged yesterday as investors dumped travel-related shares as worries grow about the spread of swine influenza. Memories of the 2003 SARS outbreak in Southern China, which slashed travel demand worldwide, have been evoked in investors’ minds by the rapid spread of the latest virus. But airlines are reporting few if any changes to passenger travel patterns at this stage.

No Asia Pacific airline’s stocks advanced yesterday, with China Southern (-14.6%), Air China (-12.8%), AirAsia (-8.8%), China Eastern (-8.5%) and Cathay Pacific (-8.0%) worst affected. Thai Airways erased most of yesterday’s gains, dropping 6.9%, while Qantas eased 4%.

Shares in India’s Jet Airways fell only 1.1%.

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Asia Pacific selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 27-Apr-09

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