European stocks end week on a negative note

Allfunds soars on market debut, companies post mixed earnings data

European stocks marked their first weekly loss in eight on Friday as a surge in global coronavirus cases offset optimism about a strong earnings season, while Madrid-based Allfunds jumped on its Amsterdam market debut.

Investor sentiment was hit following reports on Thursday that US president Joe Biden planned to raise income taxes on the wealthy, a proposal some said would be hard to pass in Congress. Wall Street, however, edged upwards.


The Iseq closed up 0.65 per cent, outperforming the major European indices thanks to modest gains for key stocks. Ryanair, which warned that it would reduce its Irish capacity and relocate aircraft to other countries without a Government reopening plan, rose 0.35 per cent to €15.90.

Packaging company Smurfit Kappa rose 1.2 per cent to €40.90, while Kerry was another solid performer, with the food group adding 0.9 per cent to close at €109.35. Bank stocks were also in positive territory, with AIB nudging up 0.4 per cent to just below €2.36 and Bank of Ireland closing up 0.85 per cent at €4.38.


Building materials group CRH slipped 0.1 per cent to €39.45, however, while Glanbia fell 0.7 per cent to €12.51 and Cairn Homes finished about 0.6 per cent lower at 1.09.


The FTSE 100 and the mid-cap FTSE 250 index both closed flat, as concerns about the rising levels of coronavirus in India offset positive economic data in Europe.

Flutter Entertainment, owner of Paddy Power, was one of the big climbers on the London market, rising 2.6 per cent, though Aer Lingus owner International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) was one of the biggest fallers, dropping 1.9 per cent.

Harry Potter publisher Bloomsbury surged 8.2 per cent after it snapped up Red Globe Press assets from Macmillan Education, but office owner Workspace Group fell 4.5 per cent after it was downgraded by analysts at Barclays.

Mining stocks rose, led by Rio Tinto, which added 1.9 per cent.


The pan-European Stoxx 600 slipped 0.2 per cent and was on course for a 0.8 per cent weekly drop. Defensive plays such as the healthcare sector and consumer stocks were among the biggest decliners, while surging commodity prices lifted miners.

Spanish fund distribution fund Allfunds jumped more than 20.4 per cent on its first day of trading, boosting an IPO market that was dented last month by the underwhelming debut of Deliveroo.

Luxury puffer jacket maker Moncler fell 4 per cent after it reported first-quarter sales that were a little lower than the same quarter in 2020. Italian luxury goods group Tod's jumped more than 11 per cent after France's LVMH agreed to increase its stake in the company to 10 per cent.

French media giant Vivendi rose 2.8 per cent as strong performance at its music unit Universal and a sales jump at its publishing division helped its quarterly revenue grow.

Shares in hygiene products group Essity slumped after JP Morgan said its first quarter results were a miss across the board.

About 10 per cent of Stoxx 600 companies have reported earnings so far, and two-thirds of them have topped profit expectations, according to Refinitiv data.


Stocks climbed on Wall Street after strong economic data added to evidence the recovery is gaining momentum, with traders also assessing a batch of corporate earnings. Most major groups in the S&P 500 advanced, led by financial and tech shares.

Blue chips Honeywell International, American Express and Intel weighed on the Dow Jones after their quarterly results.

Schlumberger, the world's biggest crude contractor, rose 2 per cent after it said it expected a gradual recovery of oil demand to boost overseas work through the end of this year.

Toilet paper maker Kimberly-Clark traded lower after reporting a steep sales decline, signalling the potential end of a boon triggered by the pandemic. – Additional reporting: Reuters / Bloomberg