US jobs data and debt bill lift global stocks

Iseq index gained further momentum, adding 1.4%

Continuing on from Thursday’s rally, global stocks gained ground on Friday, buoyed by the US Congress’s passage of a bill to raise the country’s debt.

Investors also increased bets that the US Federal Reserve will skip raising interest rates this month after the latest US employment data release. The closely watched statistics revealed that the US unemployment rate hit 3.7 per cent in May against a forecast of 3.5 per cent, while also highlighting a cooling in wage inflation.


Carrying on Thursday’s shift in momentum, the Iseq index finished up 1.4 per cent on Friday, pushed higher by the larger caps. Traders in Dublin said the key sectors moving the needle were construction and building materials.

Ahead of its AGM next week, at which shareholders are expected to approve its move to the New York Stock Exchange, CRH was 2.2 per cent stronger at €45.51 per share. Shares in home builder Glenveagh were up by around 1 per cent €1.04.


Smurfit Kappa, meanwhile, was among the biggest movers, finishing the session 2.9 per cent higher at €34.53 per share. Ryanair, up 1.4 per cent on Thursday, climbed a further 1 per cent on Friday after reporting a sharp increase in passenger numbers last month from the same period in 2022.

Permanent TSB showed further weakness, finishing down 2.7 per cent to €2.14 per share, after the Government and NatWest sold a stake in the bank in an oversubscribed placing of shares. Bank of Ireland and AIB, meanwhile, closed 1.9 per cent and 0.7 per cent higher at a respective €9.15 and €3.89 per share.


The pan-European Stoxx 600 and the blue-chip Stoxx 50 both added around 1.5 per cent, with French equities leading the region. The French Cac 40 index was up by almost 1.9 per cent on the passage of the US debt ceiling bill, while the German Dax gained almost 1.3 per cent.

Adidas, up 5.8 per cent, clawed back some recent losses after announcing this week that it would sell $1.3 billion worth of unsold Yeezy stock months after cutting ties with rapper Kanye West.

French luxury giant LVMH, meanwhile, made up some recent lost ground, adding more than 3.1 per cent while its national rival Hermes gained close to 2.6 per cent. Other luxury and consumer names, including L’Oreal, Kering and Essilor Luxottica, were up by between 2.1 per cent and 3 per cent.


The UK’s main equities indices added to Thursday’s gains as investors turned risk-on after the US debt ceiling deal.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 was up more than 1.1 per cent on the session while the mid-cap FTSE 250 gained 1.6 per cent, boosted by a 7.6 per cent surge in Dechra Pharmaceuticals’ share price. Shares in the drugmaker hit a two-week high after it agreed to be taken private by investment firm EQT for an equity value of £4.46 billion (€5.18bn).

Export-focused energy firms and industrial metals miners added 1.3 per cent and 2.6 per cent, respectively, chiming with a recovery in commodity prices. Miners Rio Tinto, Anglo American and Antofagasta were up by between 3.4 per cent and 5.5 per cent, climbing to near the top of the table.

Aviva added 2.6 per cent after the insurer and asset manager said it has completed its share buyback programme.

New York

US stocks rose on new data showing that US jobs growth was almost twice as strong as forecast in May. All three major US stock indices were up, with the Down Jones up 1.6 per cent, S&P 500 adding 1.24 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite up 0.94 per cent.

Eight of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors traded higher, with a 2.3 per cent jump in materials leading gains after a report said China is mulling new measures to support the property market.

The S&P 500 industrials sector rose 1.4 per cent, while Dow heavyweight Caterpillar gained 3.7 per cent.

Amazon gained 1.6 per cent after a report that the company is in talks with telecom operators to offer low-cost mobile services in the United States.

Telecom operators including Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T fell between 3.7 per cent and 8.5 per cent, while Dish Network jumped 13.6 per cent. – Additional reporting: Bloomberg, Reuters

Ian Curran

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times