Second day peak for European stocks

Irish index of shares rises 97 points, with help from gains at Bank of Ireland and AIB

European shares closed at a record peak for a second day on Friday, with banking shares rising at the end of the week.


The Irish index of shares rose 97 points on Friday, buoyed by gains in AIB and Bank of Ireland as both enjoyed good activity throughout the day. The latter gained more than 2.8 per cent over the session, with AIB adding 2.4 per cent. Permanent TSB was up 1.3 per cent, but volumes were much lower.

Shares in airline Ryanair gained 1.14 per cent, closing the day at €20.45.

Food stocks also performed well, with Kerry adding almost 2 per cent to its share price before the closing bell. Glanbia was more muted, at 3 per cent higher.


Property stocks fared less well. Insulation specialist Kingspan was down 0.65 per cent, and property investment company Ires Reit was 0.6 per cent off by the end of the session. Homebuilder Cairn shed 0.13 per cent.


Britain’s FTSE 100 closed higher, with Standard Chartered in the lead after it announced bumper investor payouts, though weekly performance in the blue-chip index was lacklustre following mixed corporate earnings.

Shares of Standard Chartered jumped 4.9 per cent after the Asia-focused bank rewarded shareholders with dividends and a fresh $1 billion buyback as annual profits rose 18 per cent. The stock powered a 0.9 per cent rise in FTSE 350 banks index.

The FTSE 100 index edged up 0.3 per cent but posted marginal weekly losses as mixed earnings in the region and receding bets of early interest rate cuts from global central banks dented optimism.

Barclays was flat after a US judge said the British bank must face part of a proposed class action by shareholders over its sale of $17.7 billion more debt than regulators had allowed.


The pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.4 per cent to record its fifth straight week of gains, with French and German shares also closing at record highs.

Volvo Cars slid 4.9 per cent to the bottom of STOXX 600 as it plans to distribute 62.7 per cent of its stake worth 9.5 billion crowns (€850m) in Swedish electric vehicle manufacturer Polestar Automotive Holding to its own shareholders.

Mercedes Benz added 0.6 per cent after brokerage Barclays upgraded the luxury carmaker to “overweight” from “equal weight”.

Bouygues dropped 1.6 per cent after unit Bouygues Telecom said it had signed an exclusivity agreement with La Poste Group to buy La Poste Telecom for €950 million.

BASF forecast a rebound to core profit in 2024 and said it would slash another €1 billion in annual costs, citing weak demand and high energy costs in Germany. The chemical giant’s shares, however, were down 0.5 per cent.

New York

Wall Street’s main indexes lost momentum on Friday following a dizzying rally fuelled by euphoria around artificial intelligence that briefly vaulted Nvidia to over $2 trillion in market valuation for the first time.

After a sharp advance shares of the chip designer shuttled between gains and losses after the first hour of trading on Friday, and were last up 1.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, other Big Tech and growth stocks, which had been swept up in the previous session’s AI frenzy, lost ground, with Apple, Alphabet and Tesla falling between 0.4 per cent and 1.4 per cent.

Shares of Super Micro Computer, another beneficiary of the AI rally, dropped 13.5 per cent after the server component-maker priced its convertible notes. The declines dragged the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite down 0.19 per cent at 16,011.74 by 11:39am ET.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 128.80 points, or 0.33 per cent, the S&P 500 was up 5.44 points, or 0.11, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 62.50 points, or 0.39 per cent, at 16,104.12.

– Additional reporting: Reuters

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist