March 23, 2017 / 4:15 PM / 6 months ago

GRAPHIC-Markets typically unfazed by terror attacks as economies soldier on

* European terror attacks and stock markets reut.rs/2nbddaF

* Terror attacks and consumer confidence reut.rs/2mwgKTH

By Abhinav Ramnarayan and Alasdair Pal

LONDON, March 23 (Reuters) - Financial markets have typically reacted only briefly in the past 15 years to terror attacks such as that on Britain’s parliament on Wednesday -- mainly because these events rarely have a major impact on the economy or economic policy settings.

Sterling fell immediately after reports of shooting outside the parliament in London, but quickly recovered. British stocks and bonds also drew back from initial moves.

This is because in recent history the economies of most countries have remained resilient in the aftermath of acts of terror, market participants said.

“It’s clear that terror attacks affect people, but over the last few years we have seen that it doesn’t affect spending habits or economic fundamentals,” said Investec economist Philip Shaw. “Markets can get nervous for a brief period of time, but usually we see it recovering.”

A European bond strategist said his initial reaction to Wednesday’s events was to consider buying “safe” German government bonds, but the wider backdrop of tightening monetary policy kept him from recommending such a course to his traders.

As these graphics reut.rs/2nbddaF reut.rs/2mwgKTH show, the five most recent major terror attacks in European countries had little impact on their stock markets or on consumer confidence in the following months.

Regional stocks were broadly unchanged in the three months following the Brussels, Nice and Berlin Christmas market attacks in 2016.

French stock markets rallied 25 percent after the attack on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper offices in Paris in January 2015, largely because the ECB announced its huge asset purchase stimulus programme in the same quarter.

French stocks also fell after the Bataclan attacks in November 2015, although that was attributed to an impending U.S. rate hike, the first in nearly a decade.

Consumer confidence was broadly unchanged following the Brussels, Bataclan and 2016 Berlin Christmas market attacks, while it was higher after the Charlie Hebdo and Nice attacks, according to surveys.

Some analysts have suggested greater familiarity with terror attacks has increased market resilience. But even major attacks back in the early 2000s had limited market impact.

Spain’s IBEX 35 index fell 6.7 percent in the three days after explosions killed 192 on the Madrid Metro in March 2004. It had recovered all its losses less than a month later.

Britain’s FTSE 100 fell as much as 4 percent on July 7, 2005, after a series of explosions on London’s transport system killed 56 people, but had recovered all of its losses by the end of the next day.

Graphics by Alasdair Pal; Editing by Catherine Evans

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