Global markets were subdued in the run-up to an action-packed week that includes the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting and inflation data, both of which will test investor optimism about interest rates easing next year.
Euronext Dublin was up marginally on Monday, but trading volumes tailed off to drop some 20 per cent below average.
The financial names were steady after enduring a poor run over last week. Bank of Ireland was up 0.5 per cent, while AIB was down 0.5 per cent.
In the house-building space, most companies treaded water. That being said insulation specialist Kingspan was one of the top performers on the day as it climbed about 1.5 per cent.
The airlines were weaker across the board. Aer Lingus parent International Airlines Group, EasyJet, Wizz Air and Ryanair were all down about 1 per cent at close of business.
The FTSE 100 finished slightly lower as weakness from mining firms dragged on the index. Stocks in London recovered some ground later in the session after weak morning trading, but still finished in the red amid concerns over the global economy.
Rolls-Royce was one of the FTSE’s top performers after the aerospace engineering firm was buoyed by another broker upgrade. Citigroup raised its target price on the stock from 294p to 431p, after UBS and Deutsche Bank improved their target prices for the firm late last week. Shares in Rolls-Royce finished Monday’s session up 7.6p at 296.9p as a result.
Elsewhere, Begbies Traynor shares finished in the green after a rise in the number of companies going bust in the UK proved positive for the restructuring specialists. The company warned that its insolvency division would continue to get more business in the months to follow as it benefits from the challenging economic backdrop. It saw shares increase by 0.25p to 113.5p at the close.
Pawnbrokers H&T dropped in value after analysts said the firm was set to face pressure from higher wage costs next year.
Shore Capital said the increase in the national living wage in April is expected to drive higher costs, with the analysts reducing its profit forecast for 2024 as a result. Shares fell 41p to 427p.
European shares were slightly higher as market participants awaited critical US economic data and interest rate decisions from the Fed and other big central banks.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index rose 0.29 per cent and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.04 per cent.
In Germany, the Dax index was 0.21 per cent higher for the day at the close, and the French Cac 40 closed up 0.33 per cent.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were subdued as investors awaited the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting and inflation data.
At 11.47am eastern time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.25 per cent; the S&P 500 was up 0.01 per cent; and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.38 per cent.
Megacaps including Alphabet, Apple and Amazon.com shed between 1.7 per cent and 2 per cent, keeping the tech-heavy Nasdaq under pressure, while a 6.6 per cent gain in Broadcom limited further losses.
Cigna jumped 16.2 per cent after the health insurer ended its attempt to negotiate the acquisition of rival Humana, according to sources, and announced a $10 billion share buyback plan.
Cushioning the blue-chip Dow, Nike added 2.7 per cent after brokerage Citigroup upgraded its stock to “buy” from “neutral”.
Among other movers Macy’s soared 19.3 per cent after an investor group consisting of Arkhouse Management and Brigade Capital made a $5.8 billion offer to take the department store chain private, according to a source.
Crypto stocks like Riot Platforms, Coinbase and Marathon Digital slid between 5.5 per cent and 12 per cent as bitcoin fell to a week’s low.