European stocks dip amid further pressure from rise in bond yields

Irish bank shares rose, with AIB gaining 0.5% and Bank of Ireland 2.54%, outperforming their European peers

European shares ended slightly lower on Friday as rising government bond yields also exerted some pressure.


The Irish index of shares was marginally lower on Friday, dipping 0.4 per cent to close the week at 9251.

Bank shares were higher, with AIB gaining 0.5 per cent and Bank of Ireland adding 2.54 per cent, outperforming their European peers.

While Cairn Homes and Glenveagh gained on Friday, with the latter adding 1.6 per cent and the former gaining 2.5 per cent, insulation specialist Kingspan was 0.5 per cent down over its opening price, ending the week at €78.18.


Travel stocks were dragged lower, with Ryanair and hotel group Dalata both losing 0.8 per cent from their share price.

Food stocks were lower over the day, with Glanbia sliding almost 3 per cent by the end of the session and Kerry Group losing 2.5 per cent.


UK stocks fell on Friday after a drop in Legal & General Group dragged the life insurance sector lower, while bond yields rose after comments from Bank of England’s Jonathan Haskel pushed investors to trim their bets on interest rate cuts.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 was down 0.3 per cent on the day and hovered around two-week lows, while the midcap FTSE 250 slipped 0.2 per cent. Both the indexes logged losses for a second week.

Legal & General slid 3.1 per cent to its lowest in two months and was among the bottom performers on the FTSE 100, following a cut in price target by Citigroup.

Barclays slipped 0.6 per cent after Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco said it would sell most of its banking operations to lender Barclays for up to £600 million (€703 million).

Motor finance firm S&U was the top decliner on the FTSE smallcap index, down 7.9 per cent, after its annual profit forecast came below market estimates.

Victrex rose 0.8 per cent following the speciality chemicals maker’s fall in first-quarter revenue.


The pan-European Stoxx600 index closed 0.1 per cent lower, though logging a 0.2 per cent advance for the week.

L’Oréal dropped 7.6 per cent after the French cosmetics company reported underwhelming fourth-quarter sales growth.

Banks lost 0.3 per cent as BNP Paribas eased 2 per cent after UBS downgraded the French lender to “neutral” from “buy”.

On the bright side, healthcare stocks were among top gainers, helped by a 9.7 per cent rise in Coloplast after the Danish medical equipment maker reported better-than-expected first-quarter results.

Hermès shares rose 4.8 per cent, notching a record high after the Birkin bag maker said it will further raise prices as its sales outpaced luxury competitors at the end of 2023.

Ubisoft jumped 13.8 per cent after the video games group reported third-quarter net bookings slightly above its forecast.

Among other earnings, Saab jumped 4.2 per cent after the defence equipment maker lifted midterm sales growth targets.

New York

The S&P 500 crossed the 5,000-point milestone on Friday as US inflation data raised expectations the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates this year, as closely watched US Treasury yields rose and European shares eased.

Oil rose, with worries lingering of a broadening conflict in the Middle East after Israel rejected a ceasefire offer from Hamas.

The mood in stock markets was buoyed by Wall Street, where the S&P 500 index rose above 5,000 points for the first time ever, capping a 21 per cent surge since October.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 72.18 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 38,654.15; the S&P 500 gained 17.23 points, or 0.35 per cent, to 5,015.24; and the Nasdaq Composite gained 148.33 points, or 0.92 per cent, to 15,942.04.

– Additional reporting: Reuters

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

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