European shares close flat on weak Chinese economic information

Building and travel stocks struggle on Iseq

European shares closed flat on Monday as gains in miners limited earlier declines, while French and German stocks fell the most following weak economic data from China which fanned global recession fears.

DUBLIN

The Irish index of shares ended half a per cent lower, following the lead of the global markets as sentiment struggled to recover.

Ryanair saw its stock end largely flat at €13.60. The airline had earlier said the recovery in air travel was too uncertain for it to issue profit guidance for this year, sending shares lower.

Building stocks also struggled, with Cairn Homes and Glenveagh properties down 0.39 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively, while CRH saw its stock fall to €36.92, down 1.47 per cent on the day. Kingspan also suffered, falling 3.41 per cent to close at €75.34.

Banking stocks were mixed, with AIB up 1.53 per cent to €2.25, and Bank of Ireland gaining 1.79 per cent to €5.47 by the close. Permanent TSB was 1.65 per cent lower at €1.49.

LONDON

The FTSE 100 index ended 0.6 per cent higher, with pharmaceutical giants such as AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline and oil majors Shell and BP among top boosts.

The domestically focussed midcap index ended flat.

Vodafone jumped 1.9 per cent after telecoms group e& bought a 9.8 per cent stake in the company for $4.4 billion.

Technical products and services provider Diploma slid 5.7 per cent after first-half results.

British baker and fast food chain Greggs slipped 0.5 per cent after it said cost pressures were increasing as it reported a rise in first-quarter sales.

EUROPE

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed flat, after posting its first weekly gain in five on Friday.

Germany’s benchmark index fell 0.4 per cent and French stocks dropped 0.2 per cent, paring some early losses, while Wall Street also opened lower.

European miners rose 1.5 per cent, offsetting declines on the main index as prices of industrial metals rose.

Industrial stocks were the biggest drags on the Stoxx 600, while luxury firms, which derive a chunk of their demand from China, fell with Louis Vuitton-owner LVMH down 1.1 per cent.

Valneva tanked 19.1 per cent after the French drugmaker said its Covid-19 vaccine agreement with the European Commission was likely to be scrapped and it might have to rethink its financial guidance.

French retailer Casino rose 4.8 per cent as it launched a process to sell its renewable energy unit GreenYellow. A report said TotalEnergies and French power company Engie are eyeing GreenYellow, valued at about €1.5 billion.

NEW YORK

Wall Street's main indexes fell on Monday as downbeat China data added to worries about a global economic slowdown against the backdrop of aggressive policy tightening by the US Federal Reserve.

Big growth companies such as Amazon. com, Alphabet, Microsoft, Apple, Tesla and Nvidia Corp slipped between 0.6 per cent and 3.9 per cent.

Energy shares outperformed and were up 2.3 per cent, followed by gains in defensive sectors such as consumer staples , utilities and healthcare.

The healthcare sector got a boost from a 3.7 per cent jump in the shares of Eli Lilly & Co after the drugmaker won US approval for tirzepatide, to treat adults with type 2 diabetes.

At 11.45am ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 9.59 points, or 0.03 per cent, at 32,187.07, the S&P 500 was down 11.80 points, or 0.29 per cent, at 4,012.09, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 100.64 points, or 0.85 per cent, at 11,704.36.

Spirit Airlines jumped 11 per cent after JetBlue Airways launched a hostile takeover bid for the discount carrier. JetBlue shares slipped 4.5 per cent , while shares of rival bidder Frontier Group gained 6.2 per cent. – Additional reporting: Reuters