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Southwest falls on downgrade, Expressjet falls again, Air Canada, GOL and Republic stronger

Most North American carrier stocks fell on Wednesday (19-Aug-09), as oil prices (+4.7%) rose sharply to USD72.42, due to an unexpected decrease in US crude oil inventories. The AMEX Airline Index (1.4%) ended the day down, while the Dow (+0.66%), after starting in negative terriroty, was up at the end of trading.

Expressjet (-5.1%) stocks suffered the greatest fall on the day, while Southwest shares also fell following a downgrade in the carrier’s stock by Jesup & Lamont to “Sell”.

Air Canada-B (+5.3%) stocks meanwhile regained the previous day’s loss, after recently announcing plans to boost capacity and launch new services to the US, suggesting the carrier is gaining more confidence with its additional funding. The carrier plans to launch Montreal-Houston and Calgary-Hawaii services and increase capacity on “sun destinations” for its Winter 2009-10 schedule.

GOL (+2.9%) and Republic Airways (+2.0%) continued to rise on the back of positive weeks, with GOL’s stock upgrade by Banco Santander SA and Republic’s purchase of Frontier. GOL was further assisted by a rise in the Bovespa (0.7%).

North & South America selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 19-Aug-09