European shares fall on US tech losses

Markets report: Iseq outperforms peers, closing just 0.04% lower

European shares ended lower in a wild trading session on Friday as technology stocks tracked losses on Wall Street, while share sales this week helped the Iseq finish above peers.


The Iseq all-share index outperformed European peers on the day, dropping a marginal 0.04 per cent to close. Share placings that took place earlier this week helped the index along.

Ryanair closed 3.52 per cent higher at €12.06 after raising €400 million in a share sale announced after stock markets closed on Thursday. The company said the sale was designed to strengthen its balance sheet amid the Covid-19 crisis.

The State's largest hotel group, Dalata, was another gainer having also sold more shares earlier this week. The company finished 7 per cent higher at €3.14. On Tuesday, Dalata raised €94.4 million after a share sale which it said would be used to bolster its balance sheet and capitalise on opportunities that would likely arise as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Elsewhere, the banks performed well on the day with decent volume traded. AIB gained 3.57 per cent to close at €1.10, while Bank of Ireland rose 4.3 per cent to €2.03.

Flutter Entertainment was among stocks which got caught up in the wider US and European sell-off and the stock finished 1.5 per cent lower on its Dublin listing at €125.


The FTSE 100 fell to a near four-month low on Friday as the chance of the UK leaving the European Union without a trade deal rose sharply, while housebuilders tumbled amid scrutiny from the UK's competition regulator.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 fell 0.9 per cent on the day to post its third straight weekly decline, with healthcare, consumer goods and industrial stocks among the biggest drags in the index.

The mid-cap FTSE 250 closed down 0.6 per cent.

UK stock markets have rallied since a coronavirus-driven crash in March, but had so far lagged their US peers.

Meanwhile, housebuilders Barratt Developments, Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey and Countryside Properties fell between 4.5 per cent and 7 per cent after the UK's competition and markets authority said it was investigating whether they might have broken a consumer-protection law in relation to leasehold homes. Those losses pulled the wider housebuilding index down 2.9 per cent to its lowest in more than two months.


The pan-European Stoxx 600 index settled 1.1 per cent lower after flitting between gains and losses, while also shedding about 1.9 per cent for the week on a two-day technology rout.

German software developer Nemetschek bottomed out the Stoxx 600, shedding 9.4 per cent. On the other hand, Bankia and Caixabank marked double-digit gains after both Spanish banks said they were considering a merger to create the biggest lender in the country. Caixabank was among the top percentage gainers in the banking index and the Stoxx 600.

Basic resource stocks were also among the few gainers for the day, tracking a rise in base metal prices and an expected uptrend in Chinese demand.

Real-estate stocks sank 3.5 per cent, led by Germany's Vonovia after it announced a €1 billion capital raise. Curevac rose 3.4 per cent after the German biotech firm won nearly $300 million in government funding to speed up work on its prototype Covid-19 vaccine and build capacity to produce it at scale.

New York

Wall Street’s main indexes extended declines on Friday, with the Nasdaq on track for its worst two-day fall since March as technology stocks sold off again.

Mega-cap companies Apple, Microsoft, Amazon. com and Facebook, which were down between 4.5 per cent and 5.9 per cent, weighed heavily on the indexes.

Bank stocks, which have lagged the broader market this year, bucked the trend and rose 0.5 per cent.

Elsewhere, Broadcom gained 2.3 per cent after the Apple supplier forecast fourth-quarter revenue above analysts' estimates. – Additional reporting: Reuters

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business