The Irish Stock Exchange outperformed peers on Wednesday, lifted by a number of index big hitters, while global stocks extended a drop in recent weeks as investors prepared for the prospect that central bankers will hold interest rates higher for longer than previously expected, to try to squeeze inflation out of economies.
In Dublin, the Iseq All Share performed better than European neighbours, rising 0.44 per cent and closing at 8,406.98.
It was a strong day for the banks, as AIB rose 2.29 per cent to €4.198, Bank of Ireland closed up 2.15 per cent at €9.102, while Permanent TSB remained flat at €2.09.
The Iseq index was lifted by a number of heavy hitters that saw gains, including Flutter, Kingspan, and Ryanair.
Paddy Power parent company Flutter rose by 0.32 per cent to €157.50, as it announced on Wednesday that it had acquired a majority stake in Serbian sports betting operator MaxBet for more than €140 million.
Building materials company Kingspan was up 0.91 per cent, closing at €68.98, while Ryanair outperformed sector peers and rose 1.11 per cent to €15.935.
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said on Wednesday the airline’s bookings are about 4-5 per cent higher than they were last year, and that passengers are booking earlier and at higher fares.
On the downside, packaging company Smurfit Kappa lost 1.6 per cent, closing at €31,46, as investors continue to debate about the company’s planned merger with US peer WestRock.
Other downward movers included Dalata Hotel group, which fell 3.69 per cent to €4.05, and Uniphar which fell 5.31 per cent to €2.32.
London stocks were down on Wednesday, with real estate stocks hitting a more than month low after Jefferies said the capital city’s office market was in “rental recession”.
The exporter heavy FTSE 100 lost 0.43 per cent, closing at 7,593.22, while the more domestically focused FTSE Mid-Cap 250 fell by 0.63 per cent to 18,220.23.
Land Securities, British Land, Derwent London and Great Portland Estates fell between 3.35 per cent and 4.96 per cent after brokerage Jefferies downgraded all the stocks.
The broader real estate index fell 2.54 per cent and is set for a 3.6 per cent loss this quarter as the roll-out of flexible working policies for corporate employees has partly dented demand for huge office rental spaces.
Ithaca Energy surged 8.82 per cent after being given the green light for one of its biggest new oil and gas projects in years, despite opposition from environmentalists.
European shares opened slightly lower on Wednesday amid persistent concerns about economic growth in China and fears about central banks keeping interest rates higher for longer.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index lost 0.17 per cent, while the German Dax fell by 0.25 per cent and the French Cac dropped by 0.05 per cent.
A survey by German market research company GfK found that German consumer sentiment is set to fall in October, as persistently high inflation encourages people to save and blots out chances of a recovery before the end of the year.
H&M shares rose by 3.39 per cent after the world’s second-biggest fashion retailer reported a slightly bigger-than-expected rise in quarterly profit boosted by cost cuts, despite a slump in September sales.
Shares of Netherlands-based insurance and asset management company NN Group dropped 18.8 per cent on Wednesday, after it disagreed with an interim judgment on unit-linked insurances sold by the company.
New York’s three main indices were all down on Wednesday evening, as investors weigh up concerns about interest rates, as well as car-worker strikes in Detroit and a potential US Government shutdown in coming days.
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are set for their worst monthly showing so far this year, while all the three indexes including the Dow are eyeing their first quarterly decline in 2023.
Marriott International gained after the hotel operator forecasted two-year annualised global revenue per available room growth of 3 per cent to 6 per cent by 2025.
Mattel marked gains after Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on shares of the toymaker with an “overweight” rating, while shares in jeans maker Levi Strauss rose after TD Cowen initiated coverage with “outperform”.
— Additional reporting: Reuters