Renewed worries over US rate rises dampen markets

Better-than-expected US jobs data leads to fears Fed may go harder for longer on rates

European shares fell back on Friday after two days of strong gains that had helped the Stoxx 600 index notch up its seventh straight week of rises amid signs of China reopening its economy.

US stock indexes fell, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq leading losses, as higher-than-expected job additions in November reignited investor concerns about the Federal Reserve continuing on its path of aggressive monetary-policy tightening.


The Iseq index finished flat on a quiet day for the exchange.

AIB closed the session down 0.6 per cent to €2.99 per share, despite upgrading its medium-term targets on Friday morning, which led to a slew of positive brokers’ notes.


Irish multinationals with US exposure fared well. CRH was ahead by 0.4 per cent to €38.34, Glanbia rose by a similar margin to €11.74, while Kingspan was up 1.2 per cent to €56.10.

Housebuilders slipped back as concern rose that the inflation crisis might constrain the number of new homes delivered. Cairn Homes fell 0.9 per cent to 91 cent while Glenveagh fell 1.6 per cent to 90 cent.


The FTSE 100 index was subdued, finishing flat as gains in financials and consumer staple stocks were offset by losses in oil majors BP and Shell. They dipped 1.7 per cent and 0.7 per cent, respectively, as crude prices were mixed.

Primark owner AB Foods jumped 5 per cent to top the FTSE 100 index after two positive brokerage actions.

AJ Bell climbed 8.3 per cent as Jefferies upgraded the investment platform’s stock to “buy” from “hold”. Shares of eastern Mediterranean-focused oil and gas producer Energean slid 8.3 per cent on an institutional seller’s discounted share sale.

Cineworld, the world’s second-largest cinema group, has plunged this year after it filed for US bankruptcy protection after suffering weak audience figures over the summer. It finished the day up 0.198p at 4.8p.

Mind Gym was flat at the end of trading after it had to lean heavily on its US business to keep growing in the last six months, as the business managed to expand its profit many times over.


Energy and technology stocks were among the biggest drags on the broader index, offsetting gains in real estate and retailers.

Rate-sensitive technology stocks also took a hit as euro zone government bond yields rose in line with a move in US treasury yields.

The Dax improved 0.27 per cent by the end of the session and the French Cac finished 0.17 per cent lower.

French drugmaker Sanofi fell 1.9 per cent after saying that if it bid for Irish-based biotech company Horizon Therapeutics, it would do so in cash.

Horizon, with a market capitalisation of about $18 billion, is also in talks with Amgen Inc and Johnson & Johnson unit Janssen Global Services over potential takeover offers.

Credit Suisse jumped 9.3 per cent after 12 straight days of losses that sent the stock to a record low. The Swiss lender is looking to speed up cost-cutting as the revenue outlook worsens.

New York

The US labour department’s jobs report showed non-farm payrolls rose by 263,000, compared with an estimated 200,000, as US employers hired more workers than expected in November and raised wages despite mounting worries of a recession. This sparked fears among investors that the Fed might remain hawkish on rates.

Information technology shares bore the brunt of selling pressure among the 11 S&P 500 sector indexes, and were down 1.2 per cent.

Growth and technology companies such as Apple and Nvidia fell 1.2 per cent and 2.7 per cent, respectively, as treasury yields recovered, pressuring rate-sensitive megacap stocks.

Ford Motor slipped 1.3 per cent on lower vehicle sales in November, while DoorDash lost 2.5 per cent after RBC downgraded the food delivery firm’s stock. – Additional reporting: Reuters/PA

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times