Stocks mixed as Ukraine war continues to weigh

Markets report: Iseq bounces back, rising 2.65% over session

Stocks were mixed on Friday, while gold dropped after Russian president Vladimir Putin said there had been some progress in Moscow's talks with Ukraine.

Dublin

The Iseq ended higher on Friday, rising 2.65 per cent over the session.

CRH bounced back, climbing 5.2 per cent to close at €37.63. The stock had slid to €35.76 on Thursday as investors continued to fret about the building materials giant's exposure to eastern Europe, amid the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Bank shares were mixed, with Bank of Ireland gaining 3.6 per cent to €5.73 and Permanent TSB adding 4.5 per cent to close at €1.64. AIB closed at €2, a decline of 0.25 per cent.

Shares in Kerry Group rose to €96.76, up 1.36 per cent, while Glanbia was 1 per cent higher at €10.76.

Tourism stocks were also higher, with hotel group Dalata up almost 4 per cent to close the week at €3.89. Ryanair also gained ground, adding 2.1 per cent to end at €13.30.

London

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index gained 0.7 per cent and ended the week 2.3 per cent higher, with support from gains in energy stocks, travel shares and banks. It had declined for the previous three weeks.

Despite the week’s rebound, the FTSE 100 has lost 3.1 per cent so far this year. Still, heavyweight energy firms tracked strong gains in oil prices since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, so year-to-date losses were not as steep as those in the wider European aggregate.

The midcap index ended 1.3 per cent higher and recorded its best week since November 2020.

Among individual stocks, Berkeley rose 2.3 per cent after the housebuilder joined bigger rivals in highlighting persistent strong demand in an under-supplied housing market.

Pearson surged 18 per cent to the top of the FTSE 100 after it rejected two takeover approaches from investment firm Apollo , saying its latest $8.5 billion possible cash offer undervalued the global education group.

Europe

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed 1 per cent higher, and snapped three weeks of losses, adding 4 per cent on the week as stellar gains for beaten down stocks outweighed declines from worries over the fallout from the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

The German Dax surged 1.4 per cent, logging its best week in a year, while Spain’s Ibex and France’s CAC 40 were up 0.9 per cent each.

Euro-zone banks recovered 4.5 per cent this week, posting their best week in two months, after dropping nearly 19 per cent last week due to their large exposure to Russia.

Investors stampeded out of European equities at their fastest pace on record, the Bank of America said in a weekly report, with investors pulling out $13.5 billion from European stocks as the war forced them to seek shelter in safe-haven assets such as gold and cash.

Among individual stocks, Tod's gained 7.6 per cent as the Italian fashion group expressed optimism for 2022, while EssilorLuxottica added 2.9 per cent after the luxury eyewear group reported its best quarter of 2021.

Germany's largest power producer RWE fell 1.8 per cent after municipal investors dismissed calls for a spin-off of its brown coal division.

New York

US stocks fell in a choppy trading as risk sentiment waned after Ukraine’s top diplomat said he had not seen progress in Russian-Ukrainian talks.

The S&P 500 dropped to lows of the day after the comments by Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba. Earlier, IFX cited Mr Putin as underscoring daily efforts to resolve tensions. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 dropped the most among major benchmarks, while the dollar rose amid a pick-up in safe-haven demand.

DocuSign plunged 18 per cent in early New York trading after the electronic-signature company forecast revenue for the first quarter that fell short of the average analyst estimate. – Additional reporting: Reuters, Bloomberg