European shares end five-day upward streak with 1% decline

Stoxx 600 index now more than 8% lower than record highs reached earlier this year

European shares fell 1 per cent yesterday, with stocks reversing course after hitting one-month highs earlier in the session as a jump in oil prices added to lingering concerns over the economic impact of the Ukraine crisis and as traders took profits.

Wall Street stocks were also lower in early trading in New York.

DUBLIN

The Iseq declined 2.2 per cent as most of its biggest stocks fell. Banks slipped in line with a weak day for financial shares across Europe, with AIB finishing down 3.65 per cent at €2.03 and Bank of Ireland closing 0.5 per cent lower at €5.84.

Building materials group CRH fell 2.75 per cent to €38.84, while insulation maker Kingspan ended down 2.1 per cent at €91.44.

There were drops, too, for Ryanair and Smurfit Kappa, with the airline closing 2.7 per cent lower at €13.32 and the packaging group declining 3.15 per cent to €41.16.

LONDON

The Ftse 100 closed 0.2 per cent lower as measures unveiled by UK chancellor Rishi Sunak to ease the worst cost.

of living squeeze in decades fell short of some investors' expectations. Consumer staple stocks such as Reckitt Benckiser and Unilever were among those to go into decline.

Data earlier in the day showed UK inflation shot up faster than expected in February to hit a new 30-year high of 6.2 per cent, beating estimates of a 5.9 per cent rise in a Reuters poll.

Capping the losses energy majors BP and Shell rose more than 3 per cent each as oil prices soared on a disruption to Russian and Kazakh crude exports.

The Ftse 250 mid-cap index dropped 0.5 per cent, with homebuilders, travel and retail stocks among the biggest decliners.

Financial services firm TP ICAP jumped 12.5 per cent after US hedge fund Phase 2 Partners asked the world’s largest inter-dealer broker to explore a sale.

Titanium miner Kenmare Resources edged up 0.2 per cent on its London listing after reporting an 87 per cent jump in revenues for 2021 and signalling that it was continuing to benefit from strong titanium prices.

EUROPE

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index fell 1 per cent, breaking its five-day winning streak, with financial stocks leading losses. Banks fell 2.1 per cent, led by a 9 per cent drop in Sweden-based Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken as it traded ex-dividend.

Energy stocks rose 2 per cent, boosted by a jump in oil prices as weather-related disruption to Russian and Kazakh crude exports via the Caspian Pipeline Consortium pipeline added to worries over tight global supplies.

Spain’s Ibex fell 1.9 per cent, while Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 declined 1.3 per cent and 1.2 per cent respectively.

Among individual stocks, global consumer internet group Prosus fell 4.8 per cent after a target price cut from Morgan Stanley.

NEW YORK

Stocks fell on Wall Street while crude oil prices rose sharply, as a wave of selling all but wiped out gains from a day before and left the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the red for the week.

The S&P 500 fell 1.2 per cent, with more than 80 per cent of the stocks in the benchmark index closing lower. The Dow and Nasdaq composite each slid 1.3 per cent.

After a strong rally last week, the market has been up and down as investors weigh concerns about rising inflation and slower economic growth now that federal spending on various stimulus measures has faded away and the central bank has signalled several interest rate hikes to come this year.

The S&P 500 fell 55.37 points to 4,456.24. The Dow slid 448.96 points to 34,358.50. Both indexes are now on pace for a weekly loss. The Nasdaq fell 186.21 points to 13,922.60. Smaller company stocks also lost ground. – Additional reporting: Reuters