European stocks slip as US employment data points to slowing growth

Travel, retail and energy shares lead the fallers

The City of London skyline: The FTSE 100 saw weakness in pharma and energy stocks on Friday. Photograph: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg

The City of London skyline: The FTSE 100 saw weakness in pharma and energy stocks on Friday. Photograph: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg

 

European stocks slipped on Friday as US employment data pointed towards slowing growth in the world’s largest economy, with retail and travel stocks exposed to American markets suffering the most.

Retail stocks dropped 0.9 per cent, while travel stocks sank 1 per cent.

Dublin

The Iseq nudged up 0.1 per cent in a relatively quiet session. There was slippage for Ryanair, which dropped 0.8 per cent to €16.02, joining in the negative day for travel stocks. It was a better session for the banks, with Bank of Ireland climbing 0.4 per cent to €5.25 and AIB rising 0.9 per cent to €2.51.

Building materials group CRH was up only marginally at €44.68, while packaging group Smurfit Kappa added 0.4 per cent to €49.35. Glenveagh Properties rose 1.5 per cent to €1.09 and Paddy Power owner Flutter Entertainment rounded out the week with a 1.6 per cent climb, closing at €168.95.

Dalata Hotel Group fell 4.3 per cent to €3.56 and food group Glanbia was another faller, declining 1.3 per cent to €14.85.

London

The FTSE 100 slipped 0.4 per cent on Friday weighed by weakness in energy and pharmaceutical stocks, after earlier rising as much as 0.6 per cent.

Oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell were among the top drags on the blue-chip index, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 index edged 0.1 per cent lower.

The UK economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic lost more momentum last month than originally estimated as staff shortages and supply chain issues weighed on companies in the country’s huge services sector, a survey showed.

Meanwhile, pharmaceuticals fell 0.8 per cent amid Britain’s vaccine advisers’ decision of not recommending the universal vaccination of 12 to 15-year-olds against Covid-19.

Ashmore Group fell 4.1 per cent after the emerging markets-focused money manager reported a 12 per cent dip in annual net revenue. Discoverie Group’s shares gained 21.6 per cent after the electronic components manufacturer and supplier upsized its equity raise offering.

Sanne Group slipped 2.1 per cent after London-based private equity firm Cinven said it would not make another buyout offer for the asset management services provider.

Europe

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index slipped 0.6 per cent, marking its worst fall in two weeks after data showed the US economy created the fewest jobs in seven month in August.

European technology stocks were the best performers for the week, up nearly 2 per cent as investors fled to sectors most resilient to disruptions caused by the pandemic.

Payments company Nexi slipped 0.8 per cent after Italy’s competition watchdog said it had opened an investigation into the company’s planned merger with domestic rival SIA. Spanish fund distribution firm Allfunds jumped 11.7 per cent, and was the best performer on the Stoxx 600 after its maiden first-half results beat expectations.

German exchange operator Deutsche Boerse is expected to announce new entrants to the blue-chip Dax index on Friday, part of the index’s biggest ever overhaul.

US

The S&P 500 and the Dow fell in early trading on Friday as a slowdown in US jobs growth raised questions about the pace of the economic recovery, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose as the report also calmed fears of an imminent tapering in monetary policy.

Economy-linked industrial stocks including General Electric, 3M and Boeing fell between 0.2 per cent and 1.7 per cent.

Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Global gained 1.8 per cent after a media report that the city of Beijing was considering moves that would give state entities control of the company.

Biotechnology firm Forte Biosciences slumped 81.4 per cent to be among the top decliners across US exchanges after its experimental treatment for eczema, a skin disease, failed to meet its main goal. – Additional reporting: Reuters