Stocks head for longest weekly losing streak since 2013
AIB shares drop 10% on resignation of CEO Bernard Byrne, but pull back before close
Amazon was among the tech stocks leading markets lower. Phototgraph: Getty
Stocks slid around the world on Friday, heading for their longest weekly losing streak since 2013.
Earnings reports from Amazon and Alphabet rekindled a rush to dump technology and high-growth stocks, and oil headed for its third weekly decline. Better than expected US economic data gave markets only a brief reprieve.
Despite finishing the day marginally higher at 5,978.12, the Irish market was dominated by the news that AIB chief executive Bernard Byrne was stepping down, with shares in the bank trading as low as €3.75. It comes only a matter of weeks after chief financial officer Mark Bourke said he was leaving the Irish institution to head up the finance function at Portuguese lender Novo Banco, prompting speculation about the impact of the pay cap in bailed-out banks.
The news came as a surprise to the market, with shares dipping as much as 10 per cent before recovering to end the session down 2.6 per cent at €4.07.
It overshadowed the bank’s trading update on Friday morning, which was in line with expectations and considered by traders to be fairly positive.
Bank of Ireland, meanwhile, was down just over 1.3 per cent on the day, following the trend of other European banks. The stock finished at €6.18.
Elsewhere in the market, Ryanair held on to end the day in positive territory, finishing the day at €12.28. The stock had earlier hit a low of €12.08, but put in a decent recovery, traders said.
Paddy Power ended the day at €73.65, having gained 2.8 per cent, while Kingspan was up 1.6 per cent.
The climax of a “bearish” week on the markets saw £16.7 billion (€18.8 billion) wiped off the value of the FTSE 100 on Friday, following several days of volatility. Just a handful of London’s top-flight shares avoided the bloodbath, while European counterparts saw a similar decline.
British shares slumped to a near two-year low on Friday on growing concerns about slowing earnings growth, with investors punishing Rolls-Royce and RBS.
The FTSE 100, on track for its biggest monthly drop in a decade, closed down 0.92 per cent at 6,939.56 as selling accelerated after a weak start on Wall Street, where grim earnings from Amazon and Alphabet shook confidence.
Financials led the UK pack lower with a 21-point drop, followed by the energy sector, which was hit by weaker oil prices and a strengthening US dollar after better-than-expected US GDP data.
Only 10 stocks were in positive territory, with Randgold Resources rising 3.6 per cent as investors sought shelter in safe-haven gold assets and defensive sectors. Bullion hit three-month highs.
European stocks also ended the day lower, as anxiety over corporate profits added to fears about global trade and economic growth.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index lost 1.26 per cent, heading for the biggest monthly drop in three years. Core European bonds gained and gold was on track for a three-month high as the risk-off mood spread.
The German Dax was down 0.94 per cent and the French Cac fell 1.29 per cent.
On the day earnings disappointments caused sharp falls. Early in the day, shares in French auto parts maker Valeo sank more than 19 per cent after its second profit warning in three months, flagging disruption from tougher European emissions tests and a sharp sales downturn in China.
The slide in US stocks picked up speed, with the S&P 500 Index extending losses from its September record to 10 per cent, as disappointing reports from technology bellwethers added to this week’s turbulence in financial markets. Treasuries and gold rallied amid renewed demand for havens.
The Nasdaq Composite Index, which lapsed into corrective territory on Wednesday, is on pace for its fourth consecutive weekly decline, with Amazon and Alphabet leading shares lower.
“At this point, we’re going to go through a corrective rotation,” said Peter Sorrentino, chief investment officer at Comerica Asset Management. “I don’t think there’s any group of stocks that’s going to pull us out of this. October is going to be a brutal month – we will have to live through this rotation.”
– Additional reporting: Agencies