Global shares dip lower as coronavirus fears cloud sentiment

Iseq slides 0.3% in line with European markets, pushed lower by weaker bank stocks

Global shares edged lower while US Treasury yields hovered near multi-month lows on Friday.

Concerns about surging Covid-19 cases weighed on sentiment as numbers rose throughout Europe


The Iseq index fell 0.3 per cent to 8,050, in line with wider European markets as it was dragged lower by weaker banking stocks.

Shares in AIB ended the day down 2.6 per cent at €1.953, with Bank of Ireland almost 3 per cent off. It closed the session at €4.094, marking a second day in the doldrums for the sector.


Although travel stocks got off to a good start throughout Europe, shares in airline Ryanair ended the day slightly lower at €15.68.

Kerry Group ended the session at €121.95, while Glanbia showed a marginal gain to go 0.7 per cent higher at €14.66, following a 5 per cent surge on Thursday on better than expected results for the first half of the year.

CRH gained 0.26 per cent to end the week at €41.67.


London’s FTSE 100 ended lower on Friday, as weakness in miners and warnings about a surge in coronavirus infections offset optimism around economic reopening, and the index posted a weekly loss on flagging travel and energy stocks.

After rising as much as 0.6 per cent, the blue-chip FTSE 100 index fell 0.1 per cent, with base and precious metal miners down 2.8 per cent and 1.8 per cent respectively, while banks dropped 1.7 per cent.

The index ended the week 1.6 per cent lower, its worst week in nearly a month, led by a 5.97 per cent weekly drop in travel stocks and a 5.14 per cent fall in energy stocks. The domestically focused mid-cap index fell 0.2 per cent, dragged down by industrial stocks.

Burberry dropped 5 per cent and was the worst performer on the FTSE 100 index, even after it said its like-for-like sales had risen above pre-pandemic levels. GlaxoSmithKline gained 1.3 per cent after the drug maker said its anaemia drug for patients with kidney disease succeeded in late-stage trials.


The pan-European Stoxx 600 index reversed early gains to end lower for a third straight session, down 0.3 per cent, taking weekly losses to 0.6 per cent.

The mining index slumped 2.8 per cent as Rio Tinto slipped 3.4 per cent after reporting a 12 per cent fall in quarterly iron ore shipments ahead of earnings, and dragging other big names such as BHP and Glencore 1.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent lower respectively.

Concerns about higher inflation and rising Covid-19 infections causing a slowdown in economic recovery have weighed on investors’ minds this week, driving many to the safety of bond markets and making it harder for record-high equities to build on gains.

Sweden's Ericsson lost 9.4 per cent, after the telecoms company after it reported second-quarter core earnings below market estimates, hit by a decline in sales in mainland China.

Richemont also lost 0.9 per cent despite strong results, while Louis Vuitton owner LVMH's 1.3 per cent slide weighed the most on the Stoxx 600 and helped push France's Cac 40 to its third straight weekly loss.


Wall Street’s main indexes fell on Friday, with growth and value stocks falling as investors turned risk-averse towards the end of the week, while gains in defensive parts of the market kept declines at bay.

Markets have largely cheered a steady recovery in the US labour market this year, but concerns about higher inflation due to a faster-than-expected rebound has hurt sentiment, with investors oscillating between “value” and tech-heavy “growth” names in the past few sessions.

Economy-sensitive S&P 500 energy, financials and industrials led declines among the 11 major sector indexes by afternoon trading. The energy sector is down more than 6 per cent so far for the week.

Technology stocks also fell on Friday, while defensive utilities, consumer staples and real estate gained. Real estate also hit a record.

Moderna jumped 7.9 per cent to scale new highs after S&P Dow Jones Indices said the drugmaker will join the S&P 500 index as of the start of trading on July 21st, replacing Alexion Pharmaceuticals. Cintas rose 3.8 per cent to the top of the S&P 500 index after brokerages raised their price targets on the business service provider's stock following its fourth-quarter results. – Additional reporting: Reuters

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist