Global stocks buoyed by stronger-than-expected US jobs numbers

Euronext Dublin finished Friday down 0.8% as a number of companies gave back some of their gains

Global stocks were buoyed in late trading on Friday after job numbers from the United States showed unemployment at its lowest level for half a century.

Dublin

Euronext Dublin finished the day down 0.8 per cent as a number of companies gave back recent gains.

Bank of Ireland was down 2 per cent. “It had been on a relatively good run this week after posting their numbers, so there was a bit of profit-taking at play there,” said a trader.

Greencoat Renewables was down 0.5 per cent, which was attributed by a trader to comments made by Taoiseach Micheál Martin on Thursday that the Government will consider introducing a windfall tax on energy companies in September’s budget.

Mr Martin said the Coalition wants to see more investment being made in renewable energy, but pointed out that “significant profits are being made all around” by energy companies.

Among some of the heavy hitters, Paddy Power Betfair parent Flutter Entertainment was near flat on the day following a rally on the back of good momentum from peers in the US after being down earlier. Elsewhere, Ryanair was flat on the day.

Packaging company Smurfit Kappa has enjoyed good momentum since posting results last week, but finished the day down 2.4 per cent after some profit-taking.

London

The FTSE 100 closed in the red despite an afternoon rally on Friday after US markets opened.

The index closed down 0.1 per cent after it managed to claw back most of its losses, and even briefly entered positive territory after US markets opened in the afternoon.

Many eyes were on the opposite side of the Atlantic. The US announced a stronger-than-expected payrolls report, showing that the economy added 528,000 jobs last month. It pushed unemployment to its lowest in about half a century.

Markets initially reacted by pushing lower, as the figures were seen as raising the prospect of another large hike to the Federal Reserve’s interest rates.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Hargreaves Lansdown, up 42p to 885.8p, Antofagasta, up 40.5p to 1,170.5p, Airtel Africa, up 3.9p to 153p, Vodafone Group, up 2.8p to 121.44p, and BT Group, up 3.35p to 159.55p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were WPP, down 78.2p to 814.6p, Ocado Group, down 59.4p to 880.6p, Dechra Pharmaceuticals, down 206p to 3,578p, Spirax-Sarco, down 500p to 11,430p, and Next, down 270p to 6,444p.

Europe

European shares fell after US jobs data fuelled expectations for a 75 basis point rate hike at the Federal Reserve’s September meeting.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index lost 0.38 per cent and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.20 per cent. Dax, the main German index, closed down 0.7 per cent, while France’s Cac dropped by 0.6 per cent.

New York

Wall Street’s main indexes fell, with technology stocks bearing the brunt of a sell-off. The S&P 500 dipped 0.8 per cent, while the Dow Jones dropped 0.4 per cent.

Worries about a surge in borrowing costs, the war in Ukraine, Europe’s energy crisis and Covid-19 flare-ups in China have rattled equities this year and prompted analysts to adjust their earnings expectations for corporate United States.

Following the strong jobs numbers, focus now shifts to inflation data due next week, with US annual consumer prices expected to jump by 8.7 per cent in July after a 9.1 per cent rise in June.

The jump in treasuries lifted banks, with JPMorgan Chase & Co rising 2.5 per cent to provide the biggest support to the S&P 500 and the Dow.

Lyft rose 4.6 per cent as the ride-hailing firm forecast an adjusted operating profit of $1 billion for 2024 after posting record quarterly earnings.

Block fell 2.8 per cent as the digital payments company reported a loss in quarterly results on waning interest in cryptocurrencies.

— Additional reporting Reuters/Bloomberg

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter