European markets buoyant as jobs growth slowdown subdues US

European tech stocks approaching dotcom bubble-era highs

European shares ended at fresh highs on Wednesday with technology stocks hitting a 20-year peak, while optimism over the second-quarter earnings season continued to feed into positive sentiment.

In the US, the S&P 500 fell from a record high as data signalled a slowdown in job growth last month.


The Iseq was up by 0.6 per cent, as the two main banks continued their good run from Tuesday. AIB finished the session up 2.2 per cent to €2.22, while Bank of Ireland was ahead by almost 1.1 per cent to €4.88.

Tullow Oil, which maintains its main listing in London, was down sharply in Dublin by almost 25 per cent to 50 cents per share.


Despite worries that the aviation sector globally might face fresh turbulence due to the Delta variant of the coronavirus, travel software group Datalex finished the session up almost 10 per cent to 78 cents.


The FTSE 100 rose 0.2 per cent, helped by heavyweight financial stocks and strong corporate earnings updates. Prudential, Legal & General and Barclays were among the top boosts to the index.

Insurer and asset manager Legal & General gained 3.2 per cent and was the third-biggest gainer on the index after beating estimates for first-half profit and signalling a strong full year.

Taylor Wimpey added 2.2 per cent as it joined bigger rivals in forecasting sustained demand and projected annual operating profit above the top end of market consensus.

Ecommerce company the Hut Group rose 1.4 per cent after it said it would buy UK-based online beauty retailer Cult Beauty for £275 million.

Rolls-Royce gained 1.4 per cent as a Spanish newspaper report said the company is set to sell its Spain-based ITP Aero unit to US private-equity firm Bain Capital and Spanish group Sener for €1.6 billion euro.


The pan-European Stoxx 600 index rose 0.6 per cent to a record high of 468.22 points, extending its record-setting run to a third day. Technology stocks were the best performers, surging 1.9 per cent to levels last seen during the dotcom bubble.

Dutch chemicals firm IMCD and satellite maker SES were the top performers, rising 10.5 per cent and 9.9 per cent, respectively, on strong results.

Coffee company JDE Peet's jumped 2.4 per cent after reporting a better-than-expected operating profit for the first half of 2021.

Germany's Commerzbank fell 5.8 per cent and was among the worst performers on the Stoxx 600, after it swung to a second-quarter loss following a write-off to end an outsourcing project and as the lender undergoes a major restructuring.

Siemens Energy rose more than 2 per cent as it cranked up the pressure on its Spanish-listed wind turbine division Siemens Gamesa after it was forced to slash its profit outlook because of the unit.

Swiss drugmaker Roche inched up 0.4 per cent after Bloomberg reported that SoftBank had built a $5 billion stake in the company.

New York

General Motor's shares slumped 8.3 per cent to a two-week low, underscoring the uncertainty facing global automakers at a time of technological and economic disruption. Shares of rival Ford Motor Co fell 3.2 per cent.

Ten of the 11 S&P indexes were lower, with industrials and energy slipping 0.3 per cent and 2.1 per cent, respectively, as data showed US private payrolls increased far less than expected in July, likely constrained by shortages of workers and raw materials.

The blue-chip Dow, heavily weighted toward economically-sensitive stocks, tumbled 0.8 per cent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was flat.

In earnings-related moves, BorgWarner slid 3.9 per cent even as it beat profit expectations on strong consumer demand for new vehicles, while Kraft Heinz Co tumbled 4.2 per cent after warning of margin pressure from higher prices of ingredients.

Robinhood Markets jumped 33.4 per cent, as interest from star fund manager Cathie Wood and small-time traders set up the stock for a fourth session of gains after its underwhelming market debut last week. – (Additional reporting: Reuters)

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times