European shares end lower on lockdown worries
Iseq closes lower with Ryanair, Flutter, Cairn Homes, AIB and BoI all losing ground
Concern over the pace of vaccination campaigns in some countries has spooked investors
European stocks slid on Friday after France imposed fresh regional lockdowns to curb the spread of coronavirus amid concern over the pace of vaccination campaigns in some countries, while bank stocks led sectoral declines.
The Iseq closed in line with other European markets, down 1.2 per cent to 7998.72 ,with low volumes traded for most of the day.
Airlines also had a bumpy ride with Ryanair following IAG and EasyJet into the red. The Irish carrier closed down 4.4 per cent to €16.29.
Other movers in Dublin included Flutter, down 0.9 per cent to €194.90, Dalata, up 1.8 per cent to €4.50 and Cairn Homes, which was 2.2 per cent lower at €1.03.
London’s FTSE 100 marked its weakest session since late-February on Friday, as a retreat in US Treasury yields weighed on bank shares. Mining and energy stocks tracked weaker commodity prices.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index was down 1.1 per cent, underperforming its European peers, and posted its first weekly decline in three weeks.
Bank stocks including HSBC, Barclays and Lloyds Banking fell between 0.7 per cent and 2.4 per cent after US Treasury yields retreated from a 14-month high.
Mining stocks, including Rio Tinto, Anglo American and BHP, were among the biggest drags on the index, while oil heavyweights BP and Royal Dutch Shell also fell, tracking a fall in oil and metal prices.
The domestically-focused FTSE 250 index fell 0.7 per cent, dragged down by industrials stocks.
The pan-European STOXX 600 fell 0.8 per cent, with France’s CAC 40 dropping 1.1 per cent after the nation imposed a new four-week lockdown from Friday in 16 regions badly hit by the Covid-19 crisis.
European stocks still gained 0.2 per cent for the week as a rally in automakers and signs that the US Federal Reserve will maintain low interest rates despite an expected surge in economic growth outweighed concerns about rising yields.
Europe’s biggest utility Enel rose 3 per cent after it stuck to its targets for the year after beating earnings expectations.
German sportswear makers Adidas and Puma fell more than 2 per cent each after Nike’s disappointing full-year revenue forecast.
Evolution Gaming gained 3.8 per cent after Goldman Sachs started coverage of the Swedish casino games developer with a “buy” rating.
The S&P 500 and the Dow was in decline early on Friday, with banks leading the way after the US Federal Reserve said it would not extend a temporary capital buffer relief put in place to ease a pandemic-driven stress in the funding market.
FedEx jumped 6.2 per cent after the US delivery firm said quarterly profit jumped more than expected on higher prices and surging volume from pandemic-fuelled e-commerce deliveries during the holiday shipping season.
Nike shed 4 per cent after the company missed quarterly sales estimates due to shipping issues and a pandemic-related slump at brick-and-mortar stores.
– Additional reporting: Reuters