European stocks edge lower as heavyweight miners decline

Tech stocks drive Wall Street rally as London’s major markets slide back into red

European stocks dipped on Thursday, weighed down by a fall in heavyweight miners after commodity prices tumbled, while a rapid rise in US inflation kept risk sentiment at bay.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index edged down 0.1 per cent, after falling as much as 1.7 per cent earlier in the session, drifting further away from an all-time high. Basic resources fell 3 per cent, leading declines among European sectors, while oil and gas slipped 1.4 per cent.

The sectors were among recent market leaders on the back of a surge in commodity prices.

Automakers also shed 0.9 per cent, while defensive names like utilities, healthcare and telecoms rose. US inflation readings for April pointed to a steady rise, fanning concerns that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates earlier than expected.

However, Wall Street reclaimed lost ground as technology stocks rebounded after open.

"At one point today European markets were down heavily . . . inflation concerns once again weighed on sentiment, however, these lows proved to be short-lived, with the rest of the day spent clawing the bulk, or all of the losses back," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in London.


AIB and Bank of Ireland were both in the red, down 0.3 per cent and 0.8 per cent respectively, on the back of a weak day for financials across Europe and on the back of domestic news that non-bank lender Finance Ireland is launching a range of long-term fixed rate mortgages for home owners in Ireland.

Despite the pick-up in construction, Cairn Homes was down 3 per cent as Government considers taking action to stop property investment companies buying up estates, a move than may dampen investment in the market.

Glanbia was down 1 per cent at €13.77 as the controversy over its new cheese plant proposals rumbles on.

Heritage group An Taisce is challenging the construction of a Glanbia cheese factory in Kilkenny on the grounds that it will result in the over-intensification of dairy farming.

The State's biggest hotel chain Dalata was down 2 per cent as the sector awaits for an opening up date.


European stocks have rallied to all-time highs this month, with the Stoxx 600 up almost 9.5 per cent so far this year as economic recovery prospects and strong earnings drew buyers of equities. British luxury brand Burberry tumbled 4.2 per cent on reporting a 10 per cent drop in annual sales, weighed down by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The UK's biggest broadband and mobile provider, BT Group, fell 5.9 per cent as it reported a 7 per cent decline in revenue and a 6 per cent drop in adjusted earnings for the full year.

In another disappointing London stock market debut, shares of Canadian chip company Alphawave plunged by as much as 21 per cent.

British engineering company Rolls-Royce fell nearly 6 per cent, as it stuck to its guidance to turn free cash flow positive at some point during the second half of 2021.

Markets in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland were closed for a public holiday.


London’s major markets slid back into the red as concerns over inflation continued to cause havoc with trading.

A rally towards the end of the session failed to help the FTSE completely recover, although some of its major global counterparts improved significantly enough to close higher. The FTSE 100 closed 41.3 points lower, or 0.59 per cent, at 6,963.33 on Thursday.

Investment giant M&G moved higher following a Bloomberg report that rival Schroders had eyed a potential bid to form a 1 trillion dollar fund manager. M&G shares were up 9.2p at 229.2p.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were SSE, up 36.5p to 1,484p, Pershing Square, up 60p to 2,570p, 3i Group, up 26p to 1,224p, and Ashtead Group, up 102p to 4,903p.

New York

Technology stocks helped Wall Street’s main indexes rebound on Thursday after three sessions of declines, as data showing fewer Americans filed for weekly jobless claims bolstered confidence in a US economic recovery.

The labour department’s data showed new claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week as companies held onto their workers.

A separate report showed producer prices increased more than expected in April, leading to the biggest annual gain since 2010.

The inflation talk has increased focus on economic data, with attention turning to retail sales and industrial production reports on Friday.

Dating app owner Bumble shed another 10 per cent, falling below its initial public offering price for the first time, despite forecasting current-quarter revenue above estimates.

The stock, listed on the Nasdaq in February, has lost about 19 per cent of its value in the past three sessions. Walt Disney's shares gained 0.8 per cent ahead of its second-quarter results due after the closing bell.

– Additional reporting by Reuters

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times