Covid weighs on global stocks following record highs last week

Stocks reliant on tourism, such as airlines and hotels, suffered in Dublin on Monday

Hotel operator Dalata ended the day down 3.2%. Photograph: David Cantwell

Hotel operator Dalata ended the day down 3.2%. Photograph: David Cantwell

 

Stocks around the world came off record highs on Monday partly on caution over rising coronavirus cases globally.

DUBLIN

Euronext Dublin ended the day down about 70 basis points as markets gave back some of the gains from last week, with pessimism related to the rising case numbers of Covid-19 in Ireland spooking investors.

Stocks reliant on tourism suffered, including most airlines. Ryanair outperformed its rivals, down just 70 basis points, but EasyJet shed 2 per cent, while Aer Lingus parent International Airlines Group and Lufthansa were down 2.5 per cent and 3 per cent respectively.

“There was no stock-specific news,” noted a trader. “But obviously virus numbers and general concern over when people will be allowed fly again was probably the prevailing narrative in that sector.”

Elsewhere, Dalata – the largest hotel operator in the State – may also have suffered from negative sentiment over Covid and the reopening of the tourism industry as it ended the day down 3.2 per cent.

There were contrasting fortunes for the banks, with Bank of Ireland up 80 basis points, while AIB was down 2.75 per cent.

Irish property companies were weaker on the day, with Glenveagh Properties down 2.5 per cent and Ires Reit down 1.8 per cent.

In food, Glanbia was up 1.7 per cent while Kerry Group was up 0.5 per cent. Paddy Power Betfair parent Flutter ended the day down 1.5 per cent.

LONDON

The Ftse 100’s unbroken record in 2021 came to an end on Monday, as markets around the world took a breather after last week’s boom.

The index ended the day down 74.78 points, or 1.1 per cent. It was the first day of trading after the end of the UK’s transition period for exiting the European Union.

Companies in the property sector were among those leading London’s top index lower, likely depressed in part by British Land, which revealed that it had collected less than half of its retail rent for the last quarter.

Fellow landlord Landsec, and house builders Persimmon and Berkeley were also among the losers on the day.

Landsec fell 25p to 658.1p; Persimmon dropped 63p at 2,808p and Berkeley was down 100p at 4,637p.

EUROPE

European stocks fell after a strong rally last week took them to the highest level in more than 10 months, retreating as surging coronavirus cases across the continent and mainland China looked likely to dent a global economic recovery.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index fell 0.7 per cent, easing from its February 2020 peak hit on Friday. Germany’s Dax index shed 0.8 per cent after hitting all-time highs last week and France’s Cac 40 was also down 0.8 per cent.

Travel and leisure stocks fell the most as Carnival reported a bigger-than-expected preliminary quarterly net loss as the cruise operator’s business was brought to a virtual standstill by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Swiss drug maker Roche gained 3.7 per cent after the European Commission approved its Xofluza to treat influenza in patients aged 12 and above.

NEW YORK

Wall Street’s main indexes slipped from record levels as investors locked in gains after a strong rally, with prospects of US president Donald Trump’s impeachment trial stoking fears of a delay in further pandemic relief.

Shares in Twitter slumped 5.3 per cent after it permanently suspended Trump’s account. Its shares were still up about 178 per cent since Trump took office in 2016.

Other big tech firms Facebook, Alphabet-owned Google and Apple fell 1.1-2 per cent as they took their strongest actions yet against Trump to limit his social media reach.

Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were down, with consumer discretionary being the biggest loser, weighed down by a near 5 per cent drop in Tesla after an 11-day winning streak.

Healthcare stocks hit a record high for the fifth straight session.