(Reuters) – European shipping companies are trading higher on Friday after U.S. and British strikes on sites used by Yemen’s Houthi rebels for the first time since the group began launching attacks on commercial shipping lanes in the Red Sea.

Around 10:35 GMT, the Danish logistics giant Maersk gained 0.65%, while the German group Hapag Lloyd advanced by 2.19% and the Norwegians Frontline and Hafnia rose by 5.22% and 4.17% respectively.

The retaliation by the United States and Britain to attacks in the Red Sea carried out by the Houthis, in solidarity they say with the Palestinians of Gaza in the war with Israel, could trigger a lasting conflict for which a solution fast seems to be moving away.

This will have the effect of making freight costs a little more expensive, with ships now having to go around Africa to avoid the Red Sea.

Jorgen Lian, analyst at DNB Markets, says he now sees upside risks in sectors that have so far been less affected by the situation, such as oil tankers.

“The case for a lasting situation is perhaps stronger, as a possible rapid and peaceful diplomatic solution now seems less likely,” writes Jorgen Lian.

“It is likely that the Houthis will retaliate and intensify their attacks, which will make the passage of the Red Sea even more dangerous for container ships in the short term,” an analyst told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

(Written by Paolo Laudani and Jagoda Darłak, Claude Chendjou, edited by Blandine Hénault)

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