European stocks end higher as Trump-driven selling eases
Bank shares and Ryanair drive Iseq lower while FTSE 100 rebounds after shaky start
Banks were also sharply lower with AIB down 4 per cent and Bank of Ireland falling by 1.9 per cent. Permanent TSB bucked the trend, closing up 6 per cent.
European stocks closed slightly higher on Friday, shaking off early weakness sparked by news that US president Donald Trump tested positive for Covid-19 as investors pinned hopes on more stimulus.
The Iseq index ended the week on a par with its fellow European indices, closing 0.7 per cent on the day.
Airlines were generally out of favour and Ryanair, which on Friday lost its High Court challenge against the Government’s travel advice and published its latest traffic numbers, was down 1.7 per cent.
Other movers on the day included Kingspan, down 0.7 per cent and CRH, up 0.2 per cent.
London’s FTSE 100 ended higher on Friday as markets recovered from the initial shock of Mr Trump testing Covid-19 positive, although Brexit concerns and a 22 per cent plunge in miner Centamin capped gains for the more domestically-focussed index.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed up 0.4 per cent after losing as much as 1.2 per cent, taking weekly gains to 1 per cent after two weeks of losses.
The FTSE 100 currently trades higher than its March lows, but with British scientists warning it was still likely that a resurgence in Covid-19 cases was spreading exponentially, and a UK trade deal with the European Unions still uncertain, the outlook for further gains appears bleak.
The mid-cap FTSE 250 lost 0.1 per cent, with gold miner Centamin tumbling after it forecast a fall in annual production.
The pan-European STOXX 600 rose 0.3 per cent, capping another volatile week which started with a bout of bargain hunting in beaten-down sectors that helped the benchmark record a 2 per cent weekly gain.
European bourses started the day with losses of more than 1 per cent after the US president said he and his wife, Melania, were going into quarantine, adding to uncertainty around next month’s election.
Among individual stocks, Spanish engineering and infrastructure group ACS surged 25.8 per cent after French rival Vinci made an offer to buy ACS’s industrial unit Cobra for €5.2 billion. Vinci rose 4.4 per cent, driving Europe’s construction & materials index up 1.7 per cent.
Wall Street’s main indices fell on Friday after two straight sessions of gains after the news from the White House. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 fell 0.8 per cent in early trading while the Nasdaq Composite declined 1.2 per cent.
Declines by early afternoon were concentrated in tech-heavy stocks including Facebook, Alphabet, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple, which generally tend to outperform at a time of economic uncertainty, shedding between 1.4 per cent and 2.7 per cent.
Tesla slipped 4.7 per cent even as it reported record vehicle deliveries in the third quarter.
Academy Sports and Outdoors Inc’s shares fell 7 per cent in their in their Nasdaq debut on Friday, after the online sporting goods seller priced its initial public offering below the lower end of its indicated range. The company raised $203.1 million (€173 million) in its IPO by selling 15.6 million shares. – Additional reporting: Reuters