A sea of red washed over global markets on Wednesday as the downbeat investor mood continued to pull on the world’s top stocks.
Euronext Dublin finished down 25 basis points on what was described as a “risk averse” day by traders.
The banks reversed some of the losses they suffered on Tuesday, as AIB finished the day up 4 per cent, while Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB climbed 2.5 per cent and 4.4 per cent respectively. A trader said there were some big volumes traded at the closing auction. “AIB traded 23.7 million shares at the close, while Bank of Ireland traded 4 million and CRH traded 3 million,” she said.
On the downside building materials giant CRH traded down 1.6 per cent, while Irish Continental Group, which operates Irish Ferries, was down 2.8 per cent at close of business. Elsewhere, Paddy Power Betfair parent Flutter Entertainment closed down 20 basis points
Among the airlines, Ryanair finished the day down 60 basis points, but the stock has “held up quite well”, according to a trader. “I thought it would have run out of steam by now,” she said. “There was a little bit more weakness there today, but it is still holding pretty well.”
It fared better than a number of its peers as Wizz Air slumped 2.6 per cent, while EasyJet and Aer Lingus parent International Airlines Group closed down 1.3 per cent and 1.7 per cent respectively.
The FTSE 100 dropped by 1 per cent after being dragged down by losses for insurance giant Prudential and online grocer Ocado Group.
Prudential saw its share price fall by 6.1 per cent after revealing its chief executive had resigned following an investigation into his conduct.
Elsewhere, Purplebricks shareholder Lecram withdrew its takeover approach, claiming the troubled estate agency’s financial condition is “significantly worse than expected”. Its share price plummeted 27 per cent.
In better news budget retailer B & M soared to the top of the FTSE 100 after reporting rising sales, anticipating earnings growth in the current financial year. Despite posting a 17 per cent drop in profits in the latest financial year, investors were buoyed by its promises for future success. Its share price climbed by 8 per cent.
European shares hit a two-month low as concerns about a global slowdown on China’s weak economic data and uncertainty around the US debt ceiling outpaced optimism from signs of easing inflation in some major euro zone economies. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed 1.1 per cent lower, after hitting its lowest level since March 30th.
Leading declines, troubled Swedish real estate firm SBB sank 27.7 per cent, with local analysts pointing to a media report on the Swedish landlord potentially breaching its loan covenants.
Meanwhile, B & M jumped 8 per cent after the British discount retailer forecast higher 2024 core earnings as customers snap up budget food and goods amid a cost-of-living crunch.
Other European markets also sustained losses on Wednesday, with Germany’s Dax and France’s Cac both closing 1.54 per cent lower.
US stock indexes fell on Wednesday as a deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling headed for a crucial vote by lawmakers, while unexpectedly strong labour market data reinforced bets of another interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve. The S&P 500 financial sector index fell 1.7 per cent, while banks dropped 2.7 per cent.
Advance Auto Parts plunged 33.9 per cent, falling the most on the S&P 500, after the auto parts retailer cut its full-year forecasts. Shares of other autoparts companies including Genuine Parts, AutoZone and O’Reily Automotive fell between 4.2 per cent and 5.5 per cent.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co slipped 7.1 per cent as it missed Wall Street estimates for second-quarter revenue.
Nvidia’s shares fell 3.6 per cent after hitting a record high on Tuesday as it briefly crossed $1 trillion in market value, banking on the AI boom. (Additional reporting: Agencies)