Stocks fall as rate cut expectations ease

Irish shares end the day marginally lower

European stocks retreated on Monday after notching up strong gains in recent weeks as auto shares declined and comments from central bank officials tempered bets of early interest rate cuts next year.


The Irish index of shares was marginally lower at the start of the week, dragged lower by losses in heavyweights such as Kingspan. The Iseq Overall Index closed the session at 8,604, down 0.2 per cent.

Banking stocks were mixed, with AIB up almost 3 per cent and Permanent TSB climbing 4.2 per cent by the end of the session. Bank of Ireland was marginally off the pace, falling 0.1 per cent.

Kerry Group was up 1.3 per cent to €75.12 by the close of the day, a session high for the stock.


Hotel group Dalata was 1.7 per cent higher at €4.58.

At the other end of the market Kingspan dropped 3.5 per cent to €77.80, while Ryanair fell less than 1 per cent, ending the day at €18.66.


Britain’s FTSE 100 climbed on Monday as heavyweight energy stocks rose, tracking strength in crude oil prices, while Vodafone’s shares topped the list of gainers after telecom firm Iliad submitted a proposal to create a joint venture in Italy.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 gained 0.5 per cent, while the more domestically-focused FTSE 250 mid-cap index edged 0.1 per cent higher.

Vodafone jumped 3.9 per cent after Iliad said it submitted a proposal to the telecom company to merge their Italian businesses.

Among other individual stocks GSK gained 1.6 per cent after the drugmaker said its cancer drug combination met its primary goal in a late-stage trial.

On the downside Fresnillo lost 5.2 per cent after Morgan Stanley downgraded its rating to “underweight” from “equal-weight”.


The pan-European STOXX 600 edged 0.3 per cent lower after the benchmark logged its first five-week winning streak since April on Friday.

Germany’s blue-chip DAX fell 0.6 per cent from record levels hit last week after a survey showed German business morale unexpectedly worsened in December and also showed a decline in expectations.

Automakers were also a big drag, with Mercedes Benz and BMW shedding more than 1 per cent each after the German government decided to end a programme that paid subsidies to buyers of new electric vehicles.

Danish shipping company AP Moller-Maersk rose 3.1 per cent, while Italian shipper D’Amico climbed 5.6 per cent.

Vodafone gained 3.9 per cent on Iliad’s proposal to merge their Italian businesses.

New York

US stock indexes edged higher on Monday, with oil stocks in the lead after mounting attacks in the Red Sea lifted crude prices, while shares of US Steel rocketed after a $14.9 billion buyout deal.

The main Wall Street indexes are looking to end 2023 on a high note as signs of slowing inflation boosted expectations that the US central bank will soon ease its monetary policy. The blue-chip Dow hit an all-time high for the fourth consecutive session, while the benchmark S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq are trading near their highest levels of the year.

Oil majors Chevron climbed 1.5 per cent and Exxon Mobil added 2.0 per cent as crude prices rallied more than 3.5 per cent after attacks by the Houthis on ships in the Red Sea raised concerns of oil supply disruptions.

At 10.04am ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 10.14 points, or 0.03 per cent, at 37,315.30; the S&P 500 was up 17.45 points, or 0.37 per cent, at 4,736.64;, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 54.51 points, or 0.37 per cent, at 14,868.43.

Among other single stocks Apple slipped 1.3 per cent after more Chinese agencies and state-backed companies asked their staff to not bring iPhones and other foreign devices to work, a report said.

Adobe added 1.6 per cent after the Photoshop maker and Figma agreed to terminate their $20 billion merger announced last year. VF Corp tumbled 8.5 per cent after the Vans sneaker maker said it was investigating “unauthorised” activity on its computer systems, an incident that was likely to have a material impact on its business. – additional reporting: Reuters

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist