World stocks slide as investors fret over weakness in US economy

Banks among biggest losers in Dublin as investors eye expected ECB rate cut this week

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. US stock indexes inched lower after labour market data compounded worries about growing weakness in the economy. Photograph: Angela Weiss/Getty Images

World stocks and commodities slid on Tuesday as investors turned uneasy about evidence that the US economy may be starting to unwind after data showed surprising weakness in business activity.


Euronext Dublin finished the day down 1 per cent, which was largely in line with international peers. “There was general weakness across the board in all markets today, and Ireland was no different,” said a trader.

Among the financial names AIB and Bank of Ireland were down 3 per cent and 2 per cent respectively. Traders pointed to the expected cut in interest rates from the European Central Bank later this week as the root of the weakness. “People are mindful of that,” said one. “The banks were the beneficiaries on the way up, but they might be the losers on the way down.”

Among the travel and leisure names Dalata – the biggest hotel operator in the State – was up just over 1 per cent, while Irish Ferries parent Irish Continental Group climbed 1.5 per cent. Budget airline Ryanair, however, slipped 0.3 per cent.


Among the other heavy hitters Kerry Group was flat on the day, while insulation specialist Kingspan was down 0.5 per cent at close of business.


The FTSE 100 slipped 0.37 per cent amid a drag from slumping oil and metal prices. Stocks reduced their losses early in the afternoon but dropped back before the close in the face of weak US jobs data.

Standard Chartered finished the session firmly lower amid fresh allegations from new court documents in the US that it facilitated billions of dollars worth of banking transactions for Iran and terrorist groups. Whistleblowers are attempting to reopen a case against Standard Chartered with what they claim is newly-uncovered evidence showing that the bank violated US and international sanctions against Iran.

The London-listed banking giant, which focuses its operations in Asian markets, said the claims are “fabricated” and underpinned by “false allegations”. Nevertheless shares dropped by 5.31 per cent to 735.2p as a result.

British American Tobacco was in the red after the tobacco giant warned that waning cigarette sales in the US and the rise of illegal disposable vapes could affect its financial performance this year. The Lucky Strike and Dunhill maker said that the economic environment was showing signs of recovery but American consumers remain stretched. Shares in the company finished down 0.53 per cent at 2,422p.


Across the channel European stocks fell, with oil majors leading the decline. The Stoxx Europe 600 dropped 0.5 per cent, with energy, mining and banking stocks the worst laggards.

Among individual movers Deutsche Telekom AG fell as Germany sold a €2.5 billion stake in the company.

BP, Shell and TotalEnergies all slumped as oil extended losses from the lowest settlement in almost four months. Opec+’s plan to return barrels to the market earlier than expected raised concerns about oversupply.

Elsewhere, the German Dax index was down 1.02 per cent at the close, while the Cac 40 in France ended down 0.75 per cent.

New York

US stock indexes inched lower after labour market data compounded worries about growing weakness in the economy, while profit-taking in some of Wall Street’s most popular stocks added to the losses.

Stocks such as, Meta and Microsoft were among the biggest drags on the S&P 500, down between 0.1 per cent and 0.6 per cent. Semiconductor stocks lost 1.4 per cent.

Oil companies Exxon Mobil and Chevron dropped 2.3 per cent and 1.5 per cent, respectively as demand concerns weighed on crude prices. Energy stocks led S&P 500 sectoral declines with a 1.5 per cent fall.

Small-cap stocks, typically more sensitive to economic expectations, declined 1.2 per cent, while the rate-sensitive property sector gained 0.9 per cent.

Among others Bath & Body Works slumped 14 per cent after a lower revision to its quarterly profit forecast. – Additional reporting: Agencies

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter