Markets slump over inflation worries and weak economic data

Banking and building stocks weigh on Iseq

Stocks slumped on Friday to mark a third week of losses as jitters over monetary policy tightening by central banks this year and weak economic data sparked steep declines across global equities.


The Dublin market ended Friday’s trading almost 2 per cent lower, as banking and building stocks weighed.

In banks, AIB was the biggest loser of the day, shedding almost 5.5 per cent to close the session at €2.326. Bank of Ireland was 3.6 per cent down on the day, ending at €5.64. Shares in Permanent TSB were €1.67 at the close, down 1.76 per cent over the session.

Heavyweight CRH fell 2.2 per cent to €45.26, after hitting a low of €44.64 in the session. Homebuilders Cairn and Glenveagh lost 0.77 per cent and 1.95 per cent respectively, while insulation maker Kingspan was 0.86 per cent off, closing at €89.60.


Travel and tourism stocks were mixed. While hotel company Dalata saw its share price rise 1.6 per cent to €4.06, Ryanair declined 1.5 per cent over the session to end at €16.64.

Kerry Group gained 0.76 per cent to €112.25, while nutrition company Glanbia gained 1.16 per cent to close the week at €12.16.


London’s FTSE 100 ended lower on Friday, pulled down by heavyweight mining stocks and banks, while tepid retail sales and rate-hike expectations further dampened investor sentiment.

BHP dropped 3.2 per cent after its investors in London and Sydney approved plans to scrap dual listings in favour of a main listing in Sydney, while Rio Tinto fell 2.2 per cent after Serbia pulled the plug on its $2.4 billion lithium project over environmental concerns.

Retail stocks fell 1.6 per cent after UK retail sales slumped by 3.7 per cent in December from a month earlier, official data showed.

The FTSE 100 has come under pressure this week amid weakness in heavyweight stocks such as Unilever and a 0.5 per cent drop in banking shares.

The domestically focussed midcap index lost 2.0 per cent with gambling software maker Playtech leading losses, down 20.7 per cent, after former Formula One team boss Eddie Jordan's JKO Play pulled out of a potential bid to buy the firm.

Restaurant Group gained 1.2 per cent after the Wagamama owner said it expects full-year profit at the top end of its forecast.


The pan-European Stoxx 600 dropped 1.8 per cent, and was down 1.4 per cent over the week. Mining stocks were the day’s worst performers, losing 3.3 per cent.

Airbus lost 2 per cent after saying it had cancelled a contract with Qatar Airways for 50 A321neo jets, broadening a $600 million-plus dispute with the Gulf carrier over the larger A350.

Siemens Energy plunged 16.6 per cent after cutting its forecast as wind unit Siemens Gamesa warned of prolonged supply chain issues, renewing pressure on the German firm to fully take over the unit.

Siemens Games dropped 14 per cent, joining Siemens Energy as the two worst performers on the Stoxx 600.

Concerns over supply chain disruptions also saw European car stocks lag their peers this week, down 4.2 per cent.


Wall Street's main indexes fell on Friday, with the Nasdaq set for its fourth straight day of declines after a weak forecast from Netflix sent its shares along with other streaming companies lower.

Netflix plunged 21.6 per cent after missing market forecast for new subscribers at the end of last year and a downbeat outlook for early 2022.

Other technology and media companies including Walt Disney, ViacomCBS and Roku that have invested heavily in streaming also fell between 4.7 per cent and 5 per cent.

Shares of Peloton bounced from the previous day’s fall, jumping 11.5 per cent after its chief executive denied a report that the exercise bike maker was halting some production and raised second-quarter revenue forecast.

By 5pm Irish time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 82.19 points, or 0.24 per cent, at 34,633.20, the S&P 500 was down 28.02 points, or 0.63 per cent, at 4,454.71 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 150.30 points, or 1.06 per cent, at 14,003.72. – Additional reporting: Reuters

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

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