European markets see-saw on corporate news while Wall Street closes for holiday

Irish shares static as activity remains subdued after Christmas

Stocks were mixed on Monday as traders weighed a global advance in sovereign bond yields and corporate developments. Europe's Stoxx 600 Index and US futures rose, while Asian shares fell. A dollar gauge ticked up as did oil prices. US stock and bond markets shut for a holiday, Martin Luther King Jr Day.


The Iseq all-share index barely moved, finishing the session down less than 0.1 per cent on thin trading volumes.

Among the biggest movers on the index was Tullow Oil, which is listed in Dublin in addition to its main listing in London. It closed up 14 per cent to 65 cent as oil prices rose, and as it also submitted a final development plan to the Kenyan government for its Lokichar oil project.

Dalata Hotel Group, the country's largest operator, fell close to 2 per cent in morning trading despite increasing optimism that the country will soon reopen fully following the Omicron wave. It recovered slightly in the afternoon to close down 1.6 per cent to €3.97.


An index tracking activity in the construction sector said activity softened last month, but the outlook remains bright. Homebuilder Glenveagh rose 2.1 per cent to €1.25.


The FTSE ended higher, aided by healthcare stocks as GlaxoSmithKline jumped after rejecting a £50 billion buyout offer for its consumer arm from Unilever, while energy and mining stocks also provided support.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index gained 0.9 per cent to record its highest closing in nearly two years, with miner Glencore and energy majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell among the biggest boosts to the index.

GlaxoSmithKline jumped 4.1 per cent after it said over the weekend that it had rejected Unilever's offer for its consumer goods arm and would stick to its plan of spinning off the unit. Unilever shares dropped 7.0 per cent and were the worst performer on the index.

Homebuilders gained 1.0 per cent after a survey showed asking prices for British homes rose by the most in annual terms in nearly six years in early 2022. Taylor Wimpey, the UK's third largest housebuilder, added 4.2 per cent after saying it expected annual results in line with its forecasts.

Meanwhile, Clinigen Group dropped 0.8 per cent after agreeing to a sweetened takeover offer by UK-based private equity firm Triton that valued the pharmaceutical services firm at about £1.3 billion.


The pan-European Stoxx 600 index rose 0.7 per cent. The German Dax increased by 0.34 per cent, and the French Cac rose by 0.93 per cent.

Credit Suisse shares slipped 2.3 per cent after chairman Antonio Horta-Osorio quit following an internal probe, including into breaches of Covid-19 rules. New chairman Axel Lehmann said the Swiss bank will stick to its strategic overhaul despite Mr Horta-Osorio's exit, which comes less than a year after he was hired to help it deal with the implosion of investment firm Archegos and the insolvency of British supply chain finance group Greensill Capital.

Europe's wider banking index gained 0.2 per cent. Sabadell rose 4.5 per cent after HSBC upgraded the stock to "buy" from "hold", as the brokerage sees the Spanish bank's return on equity improving at a faster pace than its peers.

EDF slipped 4.2 per cent, extending losses after Friday's 15 per cent fall as HSBC downgraded the French utility's stock, saying it will face higher costs and lower prices caused by government intervention and lower nuclear output.

Belgium's Ageas fell 7.4 per cent to the bottom of the Stoxx 600 after the Belgian government bought a stake, a move analysts say could signal trouble for the insurer in China.

Dutch-listed equipment maker BE Semiconductor rose to the highest since the stock's 1995 listing after Oddo and Deutsche Bank boosted their price targets.

– Additional reporting: Reuters/Bloomberg