European stocks lose ground after mixed reaction to stimulus plans

Airlines slip, while weak spending in China weighs on luxury stocks

European markets were muted on Thursday as some stocks lost part of the gains made a day earlier. Dealers said there was mixed reaction to the European Central Bank statement on its plans to stimulate the economy following months of coronavirus lockdowns.


Ryanair shed 2.96 per cent to close at €11.48. Dealers noted that airlines across Europe lost altitude on Thursday following investors' rush to back them the previous day on positive news from coronavirus vaccine tests.

The Irish airline group hit a low of €11.40 late in the after before recovering some of those losses as the market closed.

Insulation and building materials specialist Kingspan had a good day, adding 1.92 per cent to €63.75. Traders said there was no stock specific news behind the performance, but suggested that positive news from UK group Marshalls may have influenced the move.


Bank of Ireland dipped 0.93 per cent to €1.808. AIB was unchanged at €1.15.

Index heavyweight CRH was 0.3 per cent off at €33.40.

Housebuilder Cairn Homes ended the day 2.87 per cent down at 84.5 cent. Rival Glenveagh Properties lost 1.83 per cent to close at 69.7 cent.


The FTSE 100 fell 0.7 per cent, while the domestically focused FTSE 250 ended 0.6 per cent lower. Building materials group Marshalls gained 1.13 per cent to 627 pence sterling after saying demand in June was good. Irish rival Grafton, whose shares are traded in London, inched up 0.15 per cent to 689p following a strong performance on Wednesday.

IAG, the owner of Aer Lingus and British Airways, slipped 2.27 per cent to 224.1p, losing some of the ground made the previous day.

Easyjet, Ryanair's main European rival, dipped 0.93 per cent to 685.2p.

GVC Holdings, owner of bookies Ladbrokes and Coral, tumbled 3.7 per cent to 879p after chief executive Kenny Alexander announced he was leaving the business. Chief operating officer Shay Segev will succeed him.

Irish convenience foods group Greencore climbed 5.74 per cent to 115p. The company's creditors agreed to waive debt-to-earnings conditions governing some of its debt.


Stocks declined as weak spending in China hit European luxury goods makers. Watchmaker and jeweller Richemont shed 4.6 per cent to close at 61.38 Swiss francs. The company reported that second-quarter sales almost halved this year.

Hennessy brandy and Louis Vuitton luggage owner LVHM dropped almost 1 per cent to €408.15. Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent parent Kering retreated 1.28 per cent to €517.

Air France KLM closed 2.18 per cent off at €4.27. Lufthansa lost 4.64 per cent to €8.88.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed down 0.7 per cent after falling as much as 1 per cent during the session.

Germany's Dax and France's Cac 40 both cut session losses to end about 0.4 per cent lower. Italy's FTSE MIB turned positive, boosted by gains in Telecom Italia and Intesa Sanpaolo.


On Wall Street, the S&P 500 slipped from a five-week high as data showing elevated levels of US unemployment claims highlighted concerns about the economic toll from rising US coronavirus cases.

Bank of America fell 1.7 per cent after its second-quarter profit more than halved, while Morgan Stanley rose 3.5 per cent after posting a record quarterly profit.

American Airlines dropped 5.2 per cent as it sent 25,000 notices of potential furloughs to frontline workers and warned that demand for air travel is slowing again.

Electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla slipped 4.5 per cent as its vehicle registrations nearly halved in the US state of California during the second quarter.

Tech stocks Apple, Google-owner Alphabet and Microsoft all declined in early trading, while Netflix was in positive territory ahead of the publication after the close of trading of its quarterly results.

– Additional reporting: Bloomberg/Reuters

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas