Iseq flat but Powell’s comments on stimulus keep global markets on rise

S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hit record highs in a risk-on-rally after US Fed chair’s comments

European stocks rose on Friday after US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell sent a strong signal the central bank will begin a slow removal of its massive stimulus programme, while real estate stocks were led higher by Norway's Entra after a major peer took a stake in the firm. In the US the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hit record highs in a risk-on-rally after Powell's comments.


The Iseq index underperformed many of its European peers on slack trading volumes. It finished the session marginally in the red, down 0.1 per cent with a flaccid performance from some of its heavyweight stocks.

CRH was down almost 1 per cent to close at €45.24 per share.

Dalata Hotel group was up 4.2 per cent to €3.73. The country's biggest hotel group, with brands including Maldron and Clayton, will report its half-year results next week amid optimism that the events sector will be reopened by the Government, paving the way for stronger performance at its city hotels.


Property investment trust Yew Grove fell by 3.8 per cent to €1.02 after reporting its interim results.


The FTSE 100 rose as heavyweight energy and mining stocks tracked strong commodity prices, while investors were relieved after Powell's comments. The FTSE ended 0.3 per cent higher, with BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Anglo American and Rio Tinto being the top boosts.

The domestically-focussed mid-cap index added 0.5 per cent to mark its record closing high.

British subprime lender Amigo jumped 4.2 per cent after it posted a steep rise in first-quarter profit, although it reiterated there was "material uncertainty" about its ability to continue as a going concern.

Food delivery company Just Eat Takeaway dropped 7.5 per cent to be the top FTSE 100 loser after the New York City Council approved legislation to permanently cap commissions delivery apps can charge restaurants.

The group behind the Daily Mail was a step closer to being taken private by its largest shareholder, Lord Rothermere, following the successful flotation of used-car business Cazoo in the US. It was one of the conditions of a possible bid for the group by the business tycoon and focus now goes onto negotiations with pension trustees. Shares closed up 20p at 1,114p.


The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed 0.4 per cent higher, with mining stocks up 1.9 per cent, while real estate stocks added 1.5 per cent. The day’s gains helped the Stoxx 600 close 0.8 per cent higher for the week after trading flat for several days.

Commodity-linked stocks were the best weekly performers as they bounced back from steep losses. Entra was the best performer on the Stoxx 600, rising 4.6 per cent as its peer Castellum bought 11.8 per cent of shares in the firm from the government pension fund in Norway.

Norwegian fish farmer Salmar rose 2.5 per cent after the company dropped plans to launch an 11.8 billion crowns (€1.1bn) cash bid for rival Norway Royal Salmon (NRS). NRS shares fell 11.8 per cent.

French auto-parts maker Faurecia gained 2.7 per cent to €42.07 after Citigroup hiked the price target on the company's stock to €56 from €41.


All the 11 major S&P sectors advanced, with energy shares jumping 3.1 per cent to lead the gains, followed by materials and communication services.

Apparel retailer Gap added 3.2 per cent after raising its full-year net sales forecast as socialising makes a comeback with easing pandemic curbs.

Workday jumped 10.1 per cent as brokerages raised their price targets for the stock after the enterprise-cloud applications company beat analysts' estimates for second-quarter revenue.

Peloton Interactive tumbled 7.8 per cent after it issued a profit warning and said it was being probed by US regulators over an accident involving its treadmills earlier this year.– Additional reporting: Reuters/PA

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times