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Poor outlook for airline sector

Shares in US airlines were hit in their first day of trading after last week&#39s terrorist attacks, with Continental&#39s shares closing down 49 per cent yesterday and American Airlines parent AMR down 39 per cent.

Airlines across the world announced staff cuts, with US Airways axing 11,000 jobs and Virgin Atlantic cutting 1,200 jobs. Most airlines are cutting back on services.

Analysts expect travel leisure and tourism sectors to be worst hit by the US attacks, with insurance and consumer retail companies also likely to be affected, although defence and some IT sectors could be boosted by the prospect of US military intervention.

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