European stocks fall as Chinese protests spark economic jitters

But Amazon shares climb in New York amid expectations of strong Cyber Monday sales

European stocks index fell on Monday, in line with a rout in global markets on economic jitters due to rare protests in China against stringent Covid-19 curbs, while shares of Airbus slid after a report that the aircraft manufacturer might delay some jet deliveries.

China’s zero-Covid policy has already slowed the economy and pressured global growth, but failed to stem the rise in infections.


The Iseq fell 0.6 per cent in line with the performance of indices across Europe. Bank of Ireland ended down 1.2 per cent at €7.17, echoing a weak day for European financial stocks, though AIB added 2.1 per cent to just below €2.93.

Ryanair finished up 0.2 per cent at €13.08, while Flutter Entertainment advanced 0.8 per cent to €138.95. But building materials group CRH, the largest stock on the index, declined 0.9 per cent to €38.37.


Kingspan was another faller, with the insulation-maker dropping 4.8 per cent to 55.58.


The FTSE 100 closed 0.2 per cent lower, with commodity-linked stocks weighing heavy on the blue-chip index, as global markets weighed up the uncertain economic outlook in China. The more domestically focused FTSE 250 midcaps index dropped 1.3 per cent.

Energy stocks were the biggest drags on the FTSE 100, with oil majors BP and Shell down 1 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively.

Commodity prices dipped on worries about demand from top consumer China, where protests against Covid restrictions flared up.

Real-estate stocks lost more than 1 per cent after a survey showed British property market activity stalled in October and house price growth slowed to its lowest quarterly level since February 2020 due to a disastrous “mini-budget” and a cost-of-living crisis.

British retailers fell 1 per cent. With the worsening cost-of-living crisis, focus will now be on Cyber Monday sales after data showed Black Friday shopper numbers across Britain rose 3.7 per cent year on year, albeit still down 21.3 per cent on pre-pandemic levels.

BT Group slid 2.4 per cent after the broadband and mobile operator announced a special pay rise reflecting the rising cost of living.


The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed 0.7 per cent lower, slipping from last week’s peak, which was the highest in more than three months.

European oil stocks dipped 1.4 per cent as crude prices fell on worries about the outlook for the world’s biggest crude importer, while China-exposed automakers and luxury goods firms also dropped.

Airbus slid 5.7 per cent after Reuters reported that the company could delay planned delivery dates of some medium-haul aircraft in 2023, even as it races to meet delivery targets for 2022 in the face of supply-chain and labour problems.

Credit Suisse’s shares dropped 4.2 per cent to log a record closing low, while the cost of insuring its debt against default rose as the Swiss bank struggled to win over rattled investors following an exodus of client cash and with more litigation on the horizon.

Brenntag tumbled 9.7 per cent after the German chemicals distributor said it had held preliminary discussions for a potential acquisition with US rival Univar Solutions.


Wall Street’s main indexes fell in early trading amid worries about protests in major Chinese cities, although gains in Amazon helped limit losses as Cyber Monday sales were set for a record.

Shares of the ecommerce giant rose 2 per cent following an industry report that spending on Cyber Monday, the biggest US online shopping day, might go as high as $11.6 billion, encouraged by some of the biggest discounts and deals to attract inflation-wary consumers.

The biggest drag on the benchmark S&P 500 index, however, were Apple shares, which fell 1.5 per cent after a report that the company would see a further shortfall in production due to unrest at the world’s biggest iPhone factory in China. – Additional reporting: Reuters

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics