Global stocks edged lower as uncertainty over the path of the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes continued to plague markets in the wake of three US bank collapses.
Euronext Dublin outperformed its international peers as it finished the day up 0.4 per cent.
The financial firms recovered from what one trader described as “a pretty volatile run”, with Bank of Ireland up 2.5 per cent and AIB up 1.3 per cent.
Building materials giant CRH – one of the biggest hitters on the index – finished the day up 0.7 per cent. Insulation specialist Kingspan was unchanged, while Woodies DIY parent Grafton Group traded up slightly.
There was bad news for builders, however, as Cairn Homes slid 1.5 per cent, while Glenveagh Properties was down 1 per cent.
Among the food names Kerry Group outperformed peers as it finished the day up 1 per cent, while sandwich-maker Greencore and nutrition group Glanbia both sank into the red. Elsewhere, packaging company Smurfit Kappa finished the day up 0.5 per cent.
Paddy Power Betfair parent Flutter Entertainment ended the day down 0.6 per cent on the back of sectoral news regarding its peer William Hill in the UK. William Hill was ordered to pay a record £19.2 million (€21.8m) fine for failing to protect consumers and weak anti-money laundering controls in wrongdoing deemed so serious the regulator weighed removing its licence.
The FTSE 100 gained 0.17 per cent as a strong performance by oil and commodity firms helped London edge its European counterparts. Recent volatility driven by banking stocks and fears of a widening crisis across the sector appeared to have markedly calmed during a broadly cautious trading session.
The FTSE was treading water for most of the day as a result but was partly tipped higher by a rise for oil giant BP after it announced, along with Abu Dhabi’s ADNOC, to finance a joint venture to take a 50 per cent stake in Israel’s NewMed Energy.
Online grocer Ocado closed down 8.1p at 444p after it saw average shopper basket sizes fall 7.5 per cent over the first quarter of its financial year. Nevertheless, the firm saw total sales increase as it was offset by an 8.3 per cent surge in average selling prices due to surging food inflation, which has continued to accelerate, according to new BRC figures also released on Tuesday.
Scottish drinks firm AG Barr received a flat reception from investors despite posting a 5.2 per cent increase in pre-tax profits for the past year. Shares fell 33p to 509p.
Across the Channel concerns about European banking woes appeared to calm but continued recession fears weighed on any opportunity for major improvements.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index lost 0.03 per cent and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.20 per cent. The German Dax rose by 0.09 per cent, and the French Cac 40 increased by 0.14 per cent at the close.
Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “European markets have struggled for direction today, with upward pressure on short-term yields serving to act as a modest drag on the markets’ ability to build solidly on the gains seen yesterday.”
Wall Street struggled for direction as investors weighed receding concerns about a banking crisis, while Treasury yields rose amid focus on Federal Reserve’s interest rate trajectory.
Growth stocks such as Microsoft, Alphabet, Apple and Tesla remained under pressure, falling between 0.8 per cent and 1.5 per cent as yields rose.
Shares of First Citizens BancShares climbed 3.7 per cent following a more than 50 per cent surge on Monday after it said it would acquire the deposits and loans of Silicon Valley Bank, whose collapse earlier this month sparked a selloff in the sector.
The KBW regional banking index added 0.3 per cent, while among the big US banks JP Morgan Chase & Co was up 0.4 per cent, while Bank of America was down 0.5 per cent. (Additional reporting: Agencies)