European investors nervous on inflation fears

Car stocks suffer as regulators toughen emissions limits

European shares fell on Friday, with automobile stocks hitting a one-month low on the prospect of tougher emissions tests, while a hawkish shift from the European Central Bank continued to rattle markets.

In the US, the Nasdaq rose in choppy trading as Amazon results lifted the mood at the end of a week of volatile trading that saw mixed earnings from Big Tech firms and a surprise jump in US jobs growth.


The Iseq was down almost 1 per cent by the end of the session. Providence Resources fell more than 14 per cent to about 3 cent per share, following its update to investors on delays at its Barryroe prospect off the southern coast. The company is trying to secure approval from the Government to press ahead, and is awaiting a response from Green Party leader and Minister for the Environment, Eamon Ryan.

Ryanair was up 1.7 per cent to €16.59 per share, as it regained some ground lost earlier in the week following its quarterly results. Irish Ferries owner, Irish Continental Group, rose 2.6 per cent to €4.38, as the outlook for international travel continues to improve.


The FTSE 100 ended the week in positive territory after two weeks’ of losses despite edging lower on Friday as banks retreated a day after the Bank of England raised interest rates to curb soaring inflation. The FTSE 100 index closed 0.2 per cent lower, reversing earlier gains and leaving it 0.6 per cent higher over the week.

Shares in SSP rose 0.7 per cent as the Upper Crust owner said its sales were recovering after a slowdown in recent weeks when fewer people travelled due to Omicron-led curbs, hitting its stores at train stations and airports.

West End property giant Shaftesbury drifted after it said footfall and trading over December and January was impacted by Omicron restrictions. Shares in the Carnaby and Chinatown landlord moved 6.5p lower to 607p after it highlighted the impact of recent restrictions, although it added that the issue was "abating" and it expects to be boosted by recovering numbers of visitors and central London workers.


The French Cac was down 0.77 per cent and German Dax 1.75 per cent lower at the end of the session.

Automobile stocks fell the most, down 3.2 per cent after Reuters reported the European Union plans to toughen its method for measuring carbon dioxide emissions from plug-in hybrid cars. The move would mean automakers will be required to sell more battery-operated vehicles to meet emissions targets.

French homecare operators Korian and Orpea slumped 16.8 per cent and 12.4 per cent, respectively, after a French investigational TV show host said more information on malpractice in the sector would be revealed soon.

Danish brewer Carlsberg rose 0.5 per cent after posting quarterly sales above expectations, while Spanish power and gas group Naturgy fell 1.2 per cent despite a slight beat on its 2021 earnings guidance.

TomTom plunged 16.1 per cent after the Dutch navigation and digital mapping firm reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly core loss.

New York jumped 13.1 per cent after reporting robust earnings in the holiday quarter, wrapping up a mixed bag of earnings from megacap growth stocks that dictated market moves this week.

Facebook-owner Meta Platforms' stock dipping an additional 2 per cent, a day after it suffered the biggest loss of stock market value in history for a US company, when its stock market value plunged more than $200 billion.

Following losses on Thursday, social media companies such as Snap surged 44 per cent after reporting better-than-expected fourth-quarter user growth and outlook.

Pinterest rose 6.2 per cent after its quarterly revenue beat estimates as retailers splurged on advertising during the holiday quarter, while Twitter, expected to report results on February 10th, rose 5.5 per cent. – (Additional reporting: Reuters/PA)

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is Business Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Caveat column