European stocks edge higher as investors mull Covid-19 restrictions

Markets report: US equities rise but Boeing weighs on Dow Jones

European stocks edged higher amid light trading on Monday after fluctuating throughout the session, as investors focused on the reintroduction of travel and other restrictions in some countries, as well as simmering US-China trade tensions.

Oil climbed alongside US equities as optimism that an economic recovery may be on the horizon lifted hopes that improving fuel demand may follow.


The Iseq fell 0.5 per cent, as a gain for index heavyweight CRH was more than cancelled out by declines for the banks and a 7.6 per cent plummet for Ryanair.

The airline, which closed at €10.84, said it was cancelling 20 per cent of flights in September and October as the resurgence of Covid-19 cases across Europe took its toll on bookings.


Dalata Hotel Group lost 2.3 per cent to €2.56 as negative sentiment in the travel sector continued. Bank of Ireland fell 3.1 per cent to €1.89, while AIB ended 2 per cent lower at €1.04. Food group Glanbia dropped 3.1 per cent to €9.26.

Cement-maker CRH added 1.3 per cent to €33.71. Paddy Power owner Flutter Entertainment was also among the risers, closing up 0.6 per cent at €134.30, while Kerry Group rose 0.8 per cent to €110.00 and packaging giant Smurfit Kappa was up 1.8 per cent at €30.92.


The FTSE 100 outperformed European markets, with the blue-chip index rising 0.6 per cent as it was lifted by gains for mining stocks such as Anglo-American, which added 2.8 per cent. The FTSE 250 rose 0.2 per cent.

Aer Lingus owner International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) was a key faller, dropping 5.3 per cent amid poor sentiment for airlines. EasyJet fell 4.6 per cent as the budget airline said it would push ahead with its plans to close its bases in Stansted, Southend and Newcastle as part of a cost-cutting exercise.

Guinness owner and spirits giant Diageo added 1.2 per cent after it agreed to buy a gin brand, Aviation American Gin, co-owned by Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds.

Cranswick soared almost 25 per cent after the meat supplier raised its outlook as increased home cooking buoyed sales. British American Tobacco was also among the climbers, adding 1.9 per cent.


The benchmark European Stoxx 600 index added 0.3 per cent, with the German Dax and the French Cac 40 both finishing up less than 0.2 per cent. Spanish and Italian stocks were in the red as the countries reintroduced restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Holiday company TUI was among the fallers, dropping 5.4 per cent in Frankfurt, as travel stocks across Europe declined and the world's largest tourism operator suspended trips to Spain from both the UK and Germany.

Airbus fell 0.7 per cent in Paris. The Toulouse-based aircraft manufacturer is set to name a former General Electric executive, Wouter van Wersch, as its sales chief in Europe, Bloomberg reported.


Wall Street stocks climbed toward an all-time high in early trading as a rally in technology companies tempered a slide in banks. Google owner Alphabet added 1.1 per cent, while Amazon was up 0.9 per cent and Microsoft was up 0.7 per cent. However, Facebook and Apple lost ground.

The Nasdaq 100 outperformed as a jump in Tesla and Nvidia, as well as strong results from online retailer, powered gains in tech shares. Tesla surged more than 8 per cent, while computer game company Nvidia, which reports earnings later this week, was trading 7 per cent higher.

Big banks slid after Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway pared stakes in many of the industry's top names.

The Dow Jones opened in the red, weighed down by aircraft manufacturer Boeing, which declined 3 per cent in early trading. – Additional reporting: Bloomberg/Reuters