European shares give up early gains as EU imposes sanctions on Russia

A number of big names suffer on Irish market amid uncertainty over Ukraine

European shares gave up early gains as Ukraine urged citizens living in Russia to flee the country in a further sign that war between the pair was approaching.

Dublin

A number of big names suffered as the Irish market lost some early gains following the European Union's imposition of sanctions on Russia.

Building materials giant and index heavyweight CRH retreated 2.21 per cent to €41.52. Dealers pinpointed it as one of the stocks that made ground in early trade before giving it up later on.

“The market was fairly resilient this morning but it gave up gains in the afternoon,” said one trader.

Another construction-related stock, Kingspan, held its own, edging up 0.7 per cent to €88.60.

Landlord Ires Real Estate Investment Trust rose 1.22 per cent to €1.49 on news that rent revenue climbed 6.7 per cent last year to almost €80 million. Property value gains helped boost profits by 15 per cent to €67.5 million.

Ryanair slipped 1.99 per cent to €16.01. Dealers blamed deteriorating news on the Russia-Ukraine conflict for the fall, but noted that most European airlines fared worse than the Irish carrier on Wednesday.

AIB shed 3.13 per cent to close at €2.442, while Bank of Ireland tumbled 4.34 per cent to €5.814. Permanent TSB added 3.44 per cent to €1.655, making it an outlier among the banks, although dealers observed that volumes were small.

London

Aer Lingus and British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines Group shed 2.88 per cent to close at 157.02 pence sterling as airlines bore some of the brunt of the Ukraine-Russia fallout.

Budget carrier EasyJet, a key Ryanair rival, closed 3.38 per cent down at 646.4p.

Wizz Air, the London-listed but Hungarian-based low-cost airline, tumbled 8.63 per cent to 3,644p. The carrier is heavily focused on eastern Europe.

Barclays gained 3.1 per cent to 195.58p after its annual profit nearly trebled and the British bank returned £2.5 billion to shareholders in 2021.

Fellow lender Metro also saw its shares rise, by 4 per cent to 97.5p after it revealed a narrowing in its loss.

In 2021 it lost £245 million before tax, an improvement from the £311 million deficit it reported the previous year.

Europe

Air France KLM slipped 1.35 per cent to €4.03 on a bad day for airlines. German rival Lufthansa fell 2.49 per cent to €7.25.

Automakers rose 0.7 per cent, the second highest gaining sub-index as Stellantis surged 4.4 per cent to €16.914 after it said the margin on its adjusted operating profit climbed above its target in the first year following the merger of Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot maker PSA.

French yoghurt maker Danone added 4 per cent to €56.69 after reporting stronger-than-expected sales growth in the last quarter of 2021.

German-based online broker Flatex Degiro shot up 16.7 per cent to €18.30 on reports that the company is drawing interest from private-equity firms.

Meanwhile, Sweden-based investor Storskogen dropped 17 per cent to 27.56 kroner after it missed fourth-quarter estimates.

US

Wall Street swung between losses and gains as Ukraine declared emergency amid a sweeping cyberattack on its state websites in fast-changing developments that raised fears of an all-out war with Russia.

A 3.3 per cent drop in Tesla dragged the tech-heavy Nasdaq lower, while 15 of the 30 Dow Jones components were trading in the red.

JPMorgan Chase & Co lost 0.5 per cent and led the losses among big banks, while megacap growth names were mixed, with Amazon. com down 1 per cent.

Cadence Design Systems jumped 7.4 per cent as the microchip design software maker forecast higher-than-expected 2022 profit following strong fourth-quarter results.

Lowe's added 3.3 per cent after the home-improvement chain raised its full-year sales and profit forecasts. – Additional reporting: Reuters