Trump continues to have see-saw effect on markets
Bank of Ireland and Aryzta fall on Iseq after both announce new chief executives
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Wall Street rebounded after the Philadelphia Federal Reserve said its business activity index unexpectedly rose in May after declining for two months. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters
European stocks posted their biggest back-to-back drop since January as investors continued to retreat amid the turmoil surrounding US president Donald Trump.
Yet US stocks rebounded from the worst sell-off of the year and the dollar strengthened as data reinforced optimism in the US economy, even as political events continued to roil Washington.
At Swiss-Irish foods group Aryzta, the stock was hammered earlier in the day as speculation swirled about its CEO announcement. By the end of the session, it finished own 2.5 per cent. After markets closed, it announced that Dublin Airport Authority chief Kevin Toland will take over as CEO, replacing Owen Killian.
Hotel group Dalata fell more than 0.5 per cent after announcing it was spending €70 million on three freehold deals.
Travel software group Datalex rose 1.3 per cent ahead of a trading update next Tuesday, at which it is expected to reiterate guidance of earnings growth of up to 20 per cent.
British blue chips suffered their worst day since the end of April on Thursday, but came off lows as pressure triggered by uncertainty over Mr Trump’s stimulus agenda eased.
The mostly foreign-earning FTSE 100 index ended down 0.9 per cent, underperforming the broader European market as the pound strengthened.
The world’s biggest credit card data company Experian fell 2 per cent after its full-year results showed slower growth in North America, while profitability and cash flow remained strong.
Hargreaves Lansdown rose 0.6 per cent after a largely positive trading update saw assets jump 10 per cent with increased market gains and inflows as more retail investors stashed savings into the new Lifetime ISA amid a global surge in equity markets.
Luxury trenchcoat-maker Burberry was a bright spot on the blue-chips, up 4.7 per cent after its full-year results showing strong free cash flow rekindled investors’ hopes for the stock. Profits were down 21 per cent when the currency impact is stripped out, hit by weaker demand in the US. But analysts saw a better-than-expected cash flow, higher dividend and new share buy-back as positive signs for the company.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 0.5 per cent at the close, pushing the two-day decline to 1.7 per cent. Across Europe, the French Cac 40 and German Dax fell by 0.5 per cent and 0.3 per cent, respectively.
All but four European industry groups declined, with beverage and real estate stocks retreating the most.
Spanish lender Banco Popular should not expect to receive an injection of public funds, the country’s economy minister said on Thursday, increasing pressure on the bank to find a merger partner quickly. Its stock fell more than 2 per cent.
Wall Street rebounded after the Philadelphia Federal Reserve said its business activity index unexpectedly rose in May after declining for two months. Weekly unemployment data also pointed to strength in the labour market.
The S&P 500 financials and technology sectors, which were the worst hit on Wednesday, rebounded to give the biggest boost to the broader index.
Apple was up 1.5 per cent after registering its steepest decline in over a year. Cisco tumbled 7.7 per cent after the networking gear maker forecast current-quarter revenue that came in below analysts’ estimates.
Wal-Mart was up 2.4 per cent at $76.91 after the big-box retailer’s quarterly earnings beat analysts’ expectations. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,440 to 1,373. On the Nasdaq, 1,544 issues rose and 1,205 fell. The S&P 500 index showed 13 new 52-week highs and 15 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 28 new highs and 77 new lows.
– (Additional reporting: Reuters/Bloomberg)