Global trading weak as investors gear up for central bank meetings

Slow day across the board on Monday as Irish market notably weaker than rest of Europe

Global trading was weak on Monday, at the start of a week with a bumper schedule of meetings of major central banks.

Five of those overseeing the 10 most heavily traded currencies are holding rate-setting meetings this week, as a swathe of emerging market central banks including Turkey and South Africa will also meet.


It was a weak day of trading across the board on Monday, with traders noting Ireland’s stock market was comparatively weaker than Europe.

The Iseq All Share closed down 1.66 per cent, at 8,556.58.


Building materials group CRH closed lower than its sector peers, losing 1.63 per cent to €49.60. The loss comes on the company’s first day of trading after leaving the Iseq 20 Index, and in advance of the group leaving the Irish stock market altogether next week.

Greencoat Renewables rose by 1.82 per cent to €1 after the wind and solar energy group posted interim results that showed that revenue grew by more than half in the first six months of the year, to €218.4 million. The company said it expects further growth and “continued delivery of attractive risk-adjusted returns for shareholders”.

It was also a down day for Irish banks, with AIB losing 2.47 per cent and closing at €3.95, Bank of Ireland falling 2.56 per cent to €8.44, and Permanent TSB down 0.49 per cent to €2.05.

Ryanair performed better than sector peers amid soaring oil prices, as global crude benchmark Brent came close to $95 (€88.87) a barrel. Ryanair shares fell by 1.86 per cent to €16.33.

In the continuing context of a proposed merger with US peer WestRock, packaging company Smurfit Kappa saw shares fall by 1.07 per cent, to €33.18.


In London, the UK’s export-heavy FTSE 100 lost 0.76 per cent, closing at 7,652.94.

Meanwhile, the more domestically-focused mid-cap FTSE 250 fell by 1.81 per cent, to 18,449.27.

Investor focus remained on the Bank of England’s policy decisions and key domestic inflation data due later this week, as the market hopes for an end to the monetary tightening cycle.

On Thursday, the Bank of England is tipped to hike for the 15th time and take benchmark borrowing costs to 5.5 per cent.

Shares of Mondi rose 4 per cent after the paper and packaging firm agreed to sell its largest plant in Russia to a unit of Moscow-based real estate developer Sezar Group for 80 billion roubles (€780 million) in cash.

Meanwhile, Marks & Spencer climbed 1 per cent as the retailer stock started trading on the FTSE 100, after being promoted in September.


The pan-European Stoxx 600 index lost 1.13 per cent on Monday, hit by lowered growth outlooks and closing at 456.72.

Shares in Société Générale, France’s third-biggest listed bank, slumped by 12.05 per cent. The bank said it expected little if any growth in annual sales over the coming years, in a keenly-awaited strategic plan from its new chief executive Slawomir Krupa, who took over in May.

Meanwhile, Norwegian semiconductor designer Nordic Semiconductor saw share prices drop after the chipmaker reduced quarterly revenue and margin forecasts.

New York

Wall Street’s main indexes rose on Monday in choppy trading, as energy stocks tracked higher crude oil prices, while investors awaited the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision later this week.

Energy was the top S&P 500 sector gainer, as crude prices approached the $95-per-barrel mark. The uptick in crude prices threatens to keep US inflation elevated even as a slew of recent stronger-than-expected economic data has eased concerns about a potential recession without raising fears of a September rate hike.

UK-based chip designer Arm Holdings, which had a stellar debut on Thursday, dropped on Monday, after Bernstein started covering the stock with an “underperform” rating.

Ellen O'Regan

Ellen O’Regan

Ellen O’Regan is an Irish Times journalist.