Irish stocks follow global downward trend as traders monitor Israel-Hamas war

System ‘incident’ halts trading in hundreds of shares in London

Global stocks continued a downward trend on Thursday as traders monitored the Israel-Hamas conflict in the Middle East.

As air strikes continued to pound Gaza, UK prime minister Rishi Sunak followed US president Joe Biden’s visit to the region in support of Israel, to help find a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

Traders also absorbed a spate of corporate earnings reports, and a speech from US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell which indicated that US interest rates may remain steady for now.


There was very little on the upside among companies listed on the Irish Stock Exchange on Thursday, as the Iseq All Share index lost 1.61 per cent, closing at 7,982.81.


Among the four stocks that saw gains, budget airline Ryanair rose by 1.37 per cent to €14.785, while venture capital firm Molten Ventures increased by 9.68 per cent to €2.72.

Shipping and transport group Irish Continental rose by 0.11 per cent to €4.425, while renewable infrastructure company Greencoat Renewables rose by 0.56 per cent to €0.90.

On the downside, home builder Cairn Homes fell by 2.28 per cent to €1.116, while peer Glenveagh Properties lost 0.63 per cent to close at €0.95, and building materials company Kingspan was down 1.81 per cent to €64.16.

Paddy Power parent company Flutter Entertainment fell by 3.38 per cent, to €146.00, while nutrition company Kerry Group lost 2.76 per cent to close at €72.50 and packaging company Smurfit Kappa fell by 3.03 per cent to €30.69.

Among the banks, AIB fell by 0.92 per cent to €4.30, Bank of Ireland was down 0.28 per cent to €9.326 and PTSB lost 0.49 per cent to close at €2.05.


A system “incident” halted trading in hundreds of shares on the London Stock Exchange on Thursday. The outage, which began at about 3.10pm, affected mostly smaller-cap equities but included several high-profile names such as Asos, Deliveroo and Metro Bank Holdings.

The export-heavy FTSE 100 index lost 1.17 per cent on the day, closing at 7,499.53. Meanwhile, the more domestically-focused FTSE Mid-Cap 250 index fell by 1.09 per cent to 17,213.14

Online real-estate property portal Rightmove dropped by 14.29 per cent after US real-estate firm Costar agreed to buy Rightmove’s rival OnTheMarket.

Pest-control firm Rentokil Initial slumped 18.64 per cent after flagging weaker demand in North America, its biggest market.


European shares tumbled to a two-week low amid a raft of downbeat corporate earnings, including from packaged food giant Nestlé, which announced on Wednesday that it is shutting its Limerick infant formula plant with a loss of 542 jobs.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index fell by 1.21 per cent on Thursday, while the French CAC 40 index lost 0.64 per cent and the German Dax Index was down 0.33 per cent.

Nestlé dropped 3.4 per cent after the Swiss consumer giant posted lower-than-expected nine-month sales growth.

French carmaker Renault was down 7.19 per cent after third-quarter revenue missed analysts’ expectations.

Nokia lost 6.44 per cent as the Finnish telecom gear group announced plans to slash jobs after posting a drop in its third-quarter sales.

Meanwhile, Pernod Ricard gained 4.76 per cent after the French spirits maker said it expected to grow sales over the coming year, despite a difficult first quarter.

New York

Wall Street indexes were slightly up by lunchtime local time on Thursday, as Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell delivered remarks at the Economic Club of New York.

Powell suggested that the US central bank is inclined to hold interest rates steady again at its next meeting, while leaving open the possibility of another hike later if policymakers see further signs of resilient economic growth.

Among individual stocks, Tesla slumped after missing both earnings and sales estimates for the quarter, while Netflix surged after posting its best quarter for subscriber growth in years.

Blackstone dipped as the world’s largest private-equity firm’s third-quarter distributable earnings fell more than expected, due to a decline in asset sales in its real-estate business.

AT&T saw gains after the telecom firm raised its annual free cash flow forecast. – Additional reporting: Reuters and Bloomberg

Ellen O'Regan

Ellen O’Regan

Ellen O’Regan is an Irish Times journalist.