European stocks in third day of sale over inflation fears

Strong euro and advancing commodity prices trigger market jitters among investors

Landlord Irish Residential Properties Real Estate Investment Trust retreated 1.68% to €1.52. File photograph: The Irish Times

Landlord Irish Residential Properties Real Estate Investment Trust retreated 1.68% to €1.52. File photograph: The Irish Times

 

Investors sold European stocks for a third straight day on Thursday as a strong euro and rising commodity prices sparked inflation fears.

DUBLIN

Ryanair shed 2.43 per cent to €15.48 in Dublin as investors swerved airlines and aviation-related stocks on fears that a hoped for summer recovery may prove weaker than expected.

Banks were out of favour too. Irish lenders suffered the double whammy of reports that Ulster Bank is set to leave the Republic and a general wariness of finance.

Bank of Ireland plunged 3.43 per cent to €3.27, while AIB slid 1.53 per cent to €1.605.

Insulation and building materials specialist Kingspan bucked the trend , surging 5.03 per cent to €57.40, the second day in a row that it gained ground. Traders noted that the group is due to report results on Friday.

Builder Cairn Homes fell 2.36 per cent to 95 cent while rival Glenveagh Properties was down 1.5 per cent at 85.3 cent.

Landlord Irish Residential Properties Real Estate Investment Trust retreated 1.68 per cent to €1.52.

Food and ingredients group Glanbia was another that moved against the general trend, adding 2.11 per cent to €10.15.

LONDON

London’s blue chip FTSE 100 index fell by the most in almost three weeks as poor company results underscored Covid-19’s impact.

Aer Lingus and British Airways owner International Airlines Group dipped 0.9 per cent to 157.7 pence sterling as aviation stocks lost altitude on Thursday. Shares in rival easyJet fell at a similar rate, closing 0.97 per cent down at 787.8p.

Irish convenience food group Greencore rose 2.09 per cent to 136.8, providing one of the London market’s few bright spots on the day.

Barclays fell 4.4 per cent to 147.5p after the British lender’s 2020 annual profit halved.

Smith +Nephew fell 5.9 per cent to 1,475p after the replacement hip and and joint maker warned that the impact of the pandemic is likely to continue into the first half of 2021 and posted a drop in annual trading profit.

Indivior fell 6.5 per cent to 139.3p after the opioid addiction treatment developer predicted 2021 revenue would slip on a difficult first half and posted an annual revenue decline of 18 per cent.

EUROPE

The pan-European Stoxx 600 dropped 0.8 per cent, with oil and gas stocks leading losses despite higher crude prices.

Norway’s Nel ASA was the worst performer in the sector after it posted a wider fourth quarter loss, while UK’s Royal Dutch Shell sank more than 3 per cent after it announced plans to sell its Kaybob Duvernay assets in Alberta.

Aircraft maker Airbus fell 2.8 per cent to €91.29 as it posted an annual loss and withheld a dividend due to Covid-19 restrictions’ impact on airlines.

Orange, France’s biggest telecoms group, lost 2.6 per cent after reporting a drop in core operating profit in the fourth quarter.

Swiss banking software system developer Temenos topped the Stoxx 600 rising 19.3 per cent to 128.60 francs as it launched a share buyback programme that will see it return up to $200 million to shareholders.

US

Wall Street’s main indices fell on Thursday as investors resumed a shift out of big technology-related firms, while an unexpected rise in weekly jobless claims pointed to a fragile recovery in the labour market.

Shares in Apple, Microsoft, Tesla and Alphabet were down between 1.1 per cent and 2.5 per cent, pressuring both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.

Facebook shares slipped 2.4 per cent as investors assessed the wider ramifications of its move to block all news content in Australia.

Marriott International was down 0.1 per cent after reporting a quarterly loss as the hotel chain’s bookings declined due to pandemic-induced travel restrictions.

Walmart slid 5.5 per cent after the world’s largest retailer missed quarterly profit estimates and predicted fiscal 2022 net sales to rise in low single digits. Additional reporting – Reuters

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