Global markets gripped by inflation worries

Iseq in Dublin finishes down 1.1%

A Tullow Oil drilling site in Kenya. Photograph: Baz Ratner/Reuters

A Tullow Oil drilling site in Kenya. Photograph: Baz Ratner/Reuters

 

European shares fell on Monday after weaker-than-expected growth data from China hit luxury stocks, while a relentless surge in commodity prices fuelled worries about inflation spiralling out of control.

US stocks rose on gains in heavyweight technology companies, although sentiment remained fragile due to the concerns relating to China and inflation.

DUBLIN

The Iseq index fell more than 1.1 per cent, as nervousness abounded over inflation and worries about whether Ireland’s pandemic recovery would stall.

The spike in oil prices was reflected in shares of Tullow Oil, up almost 5 per cent to 57.4 cents per share, and budget airline Ryanair, which was down almost 3.5 per cent to €16.60 per share.

Property company Ires Reit shrugged off a cut in forecasts by stockbroker Davy to finish ahead by 0.4 per cent to €1.56.

Paddy Power owner Flutter Entertainment fell 2.4 per cent to €169.20, as the UK-facing consumer economy grappled with hints that the Bank of England may be forced to raise interest rates to tackle inflation.

LONDON

The Ftse 100 slipped as investors ramped up bets of a quicker interest rate hike by the Bank of England. The blue-chip index ended 0.4 per cent lower, marking its worst session in nearly two weeks, with healthcare and travel-related shares leading declines.

Softbank-backed online retailer and tech group The Hut Group rose 20.5 per cent after saying it would remove its founder’s “golden share” and seek a place on the premium segment of the main stock market.

Gaming software supplier Playtech soared 58.1 per cent to become the biggest gainer on the mid-cap index, after Australia’s Aristocrat Leisure said it would buy the company for £2.1 billion.

The shares were trading around 9p under the 680p per share that Aristocrat had offered for the business, implying that investors thought there was a chance the deal would fall through.

British transport group National Express and its takeover target Stagecoach Group dropped 3.8 per cent and 3.2 per cent, respectively, after the regulator extended the deadline until November 16th for National Express to make a firm offer.

EUROPE

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index fell 0.5 per cent after an upbeat start to the quarterly earnings season drove its strongest weekly performance since March last week. The index fell after three straight sessions of gains over which it jumped about 2.7 per cent.

Germany’s Dax index dropped 0.7 per cent while the Cac 40 in Paris dipped 0.8 per cent.

China-exposed luxury stocks including LVMH, Kering and Hermès fell 1.4-2.4 per cent, also hurt by Chinese President Xi Jinping’s call for the expansion of a consumption tax.

Belgium’s Umicore was among major laggards, falling 3.9 per cent after it cut its profit outlook to reflect a stronger than previously expected impact from the global semiconductor shortage.

French biotech company Valneva shot up 32.8 per cent on positive results from a late-stage trial for its inactivated, adjuvanted Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

NEW YORK

Eight of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors rose, led by consumer discretionary and followed by energy, which tracked Brent crude oil to its highest since October 2018.

Apple, Google-parent Alphabet, Amazon. com, Tesla and Facebook added 0.3-3 per cent to provide the biggest boost to the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq. Apple was due to unveil new Mac laptop computers with more powerful processor chips at an event later on Monday.

Walt Disney slipped 2.9 per cent after Barclays downgraded the media giant’s stock to “equal weight” from “overweight”.

Dynavax Technologies rose 2.6 per cent after French biotech company Valneva reported positive results from its late-stage trial of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate VLA2001, using Dynavax’s’s CpG 1018 adjuvant.

Oil’s decline from a session high eased some fears of inflation and policy tightening. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note climbed to 1.6 per cent.