Bank of Ireland and AIB woes continue as Irish market falters

Euronext Dublin and FTSE underperform as markets in Europe and the US move higher

Bank of Ireland and AIB continued their recent woes, with shares down 7 per cent and 6 per cent respectively.

Bank of Ireland and AIB continued their recent woes, with shares down 7 per cent and 6 per cent respectively.

 

Global stocks climbed on Tuesday amid some signs the coronavirus outbreak is either levelling off or easing, with traders assessing the first reports of what seems certain to be a particularly difficult corporate earnings season.

Dublin

Euronext Dublin underperformed peers, shedding 2 per cent. Bank of Ireland and AIB continued their woes of recent months, with shares down 7 per cent and 6 per cent respectively. Elsewhere, housebuilders Cairn Homes and Glenveagh Properties lost 1 per cent and 5 per cent respectively.

Building materials group CRH was also down 5 per cent, losing half of the 10 per cent gain it made at the close of markets on Thursday. Traders noted that it was a “very volatile stock” currently, with construction ground to a halt across the State.

Meanwhile, Paddy Power Betfair owner Flutter was down 3 per cent in the Irish market and slightly more than that in London.

One outperformer was Kerry Group, which saw shares rise by 3 per cent, although traders noted that the company endured a number of negative days on the markets last week. “It bounced back well,” noted one.

London

UK equities also sat out the global stock market surge as declines in oil majors and British American Tobacco added to the gloom, following signs that Britain will remain under lockdown for a longer period.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index ended 0.9 per cent lower as the UK government signalled there would be no easing of lockdown measures this week after the death toll from Covid-19 infection rose past 12,000.

Meanwhile, independent budget forecasters said the UK economy could shrink by 35 per cent in the April-June period, and the unemployment rate could more than double to 10 per cent due to the government’s coronavirus shutdown.

Housebuilders, travel stocks and advertising companies were among the biggest decliners, while BP and Royal Dutch Shell dragged the FTSE 100 lower as oil prices slumped 5 per cent.

Europe

European equities rose in their longest rally since November, ending the day on the verge of entering a technical bull market.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.6 per cent, taking its gains since a March closing low to 19 per cent. It had rallied as much as 1.4 per cent earlier in the day.

Germany’s DAX Index rose 1.3 per cent as trading on Deutsche Boerse resumed after being halted earlier because of technical problems.

“The market seems to have found a level it is comfortable with at the moment,” said Christopher Hiorns, a fund manager at Edentree Investment Management.

Despite the rebound in European shares, the Stoxx 600 remains about 23 per cent below a record high that it reached on February 19th, just before worries about the spread of the pandemic outside China triggered a market rout.

New York

Wall Street was also higher as hopes that US president Donald Trump could help to ease coronavirus-induced lockdowns overshadowed dismal quarterly earnings reports from JP Morgan and Wells Fargo.

S&P 500 firms are still off about $4.7 trillion in market value and analysts have warned of a torrid earnings season as the containment measures ground business activity to a shuddering halt.

JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo fell 3.4 per cent and 4.4 per cent respectively, after rising in early trading.

Coronavirus uncertainty also forced Johnson & Johnson to cut its 2020 adjusted profit forecast, but its shares rose 4.1 per cent as it boosted its quarterly dividend, signalling financial stability at a time when a slate of blue-chip firms have suspended dividends to shore up cash reserves.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 422.36 points, or 1.81 per cent, at 23,813.13, the S&P 500 was up 60.41 points, or 2.19 per cent, at 2,822.04 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 241.14 points, or 2.94 per cent, at 8,433.56.

A 4.2 per cent jump for Apple put the tech-heavy Nasdaq on course for a fourth straight day of gains, while Tesla surged 11.5 per cent. (Additional reporting: Agencies)