Equity markets rebound as western states announce sanctions

Relief that Swift pay system and energy sector escape clampdown in wake of invasion

Stocks around the world rebounded on Friday as investors welcomed co-ordinated western sanctions on Russia that targeted its banks but not did block it from the Swift global payments system and left its energy sector largely untouched.

DUBLIN

The Irish index of shares rose almost 3 per cent on Friday, lifted by more positive sentiment in the global markets.

Banking and travel stocks showed some recovery, with AIB and Bank of Ireland gaining 4 per cent and 5.5 per cent respectively over the session. Permanent TSB also edged higher, ending the session at €1.71, or almost 9 per cent higher.

Other stocks also rebounded. Ryanair shares closed 2.7 per cent up at €16.01, a day after it suspended flights to and from Ukraine for at least 14 days.

CRH also saw its shares regain some of the ground it had lost since the Russian invasion of Ukraine rattled the market, with shares recovering 3.7 per cent to close at €40 on Friday afternoon. CRH is among the top cement producers in Ukraine, where its operations employ about 800 people, and it also has a presence in Russia and Poland.

Paper and packaging manufacturer Smurfit Kappa also gained ground, closing 3.8 per cent higher at €45.53.

LONDON

The FTSE 100 bounced back on Friday but the blue-chip index still recorded its second consecutive weekly decline.

Banks and insurers rose 5.4 per cent and 5.3 per cent , respectively, leading the benchmark index 3.9 per cent higher on the day.

London-listed depository shares of Russian bank Sberbank Rossii PAO and Gazprom surged 63.1 per cent and 17.3 per cent .

After hefty falls this week, Wizz Air gained 12.1 per cent. The company has suspended all flight operations in Ukraine. Tobacco company Imperial Brands, up 3.8 per cent, also said it had suspended operations in Ukraine.

Energy supplier Centrica gained 7.2 per cent after its adjusted profit for 2021 doubled. Global education group Pearson, up 12.1 per cent, after it said it would launch a £350 million share buyback.

Europe

The Stoxx 600 ended the day up 3.3 per cent , after dropping to May 2021 lows on Thursday, making back all of Thursday’s steep losses. But the index still marked its second week in the red, down 1.6 per cent , and is off about 8 per cent from its peak in January.

The mood remained fragile going into the weekend as was evident by defensive buying. Industrial stocks, utilities, healthcare and consumer staples were among the biggest boost to the Stoxx 600.

Among individual stocks, Porsche and Volkswagen gained 3.8 per cent and 5.2 per cent respectively after the carmakers fleshed out details of a possible Porsche listing.

French car parts maker Valeo dropped 10.5 per cent after warning on core profit margin.

New York

The Dow and the S&P 500 indices rose on Friday, building on a rally in the previous session after the Kremlin said Russian president Vladimir Putin is ready to send a delegation to Minsk for negotiations with Ukraine.

Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors advanced in early trading, with energy and financials up 1.7 per cent and 1.3 per cent , respectively.

Sectors such as information technology and consumer discretionary, which houses some of the megacap companies, underperformed after rallying sharply in the previous session.

At 10.12am ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 256.49 points, or 0.77 per cent , at 33,480.32, the S&P 500 was up 20.90 points, or 0.49 per cent , at 4,309.60, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 43.89 points, or 0.33 per cent , at 13,429.69.

Defence stocks Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and L3Harris Technologies inched higher for a second straight day.

Etsy jumped 5.2 per cent after the online crafts retailer beat estimates for fourth-quarter results, boosted by strong holiday demand for gifts and other products on its online marketplace. – Additional reporting: Reuters

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist