Global stocks fall amid fading optimism for interest rate cuts

Insulation specialist Kingspan was the only standout stock on Euronext Dublin as it finished up 2.5% to hit a 52-week high

Global stocks fell on Tuesday as fading optimism that central banks will soon cut interest rates weighed on sentiment.


Euronext Dublin closed up 10 basis points as it slightly outperformed its international peers.

Insulation specialist Kingspan was the only standout stock on the day as it finished up 2.5 per cent. “That was quite a notable move in that it was a 52-week high for the stock,” noted a trader. “They had numbers out recently and have been well observed since then.”

Among the financial names, Bank of Ireland and AIB were down 1 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively, on light volumes.


Other movers included food giant Kerry Group, which climbed 0.5 per cent, trading just above €79.

Elsewhere, budget airline Ryanair ended the day down 0.4 per cent, while box-maker Smurfit Kappa was down 0.7 basis points at close of business.

“The overall sense is that volumes were about 25 per cent lower than average right across Europe,” a trader noted. “Ireland shared in that inactivity.”


Shares in the FTSE 100 closed down 0.12 per cent amid struggles for the mining sector as a rate cut from China’s central bank underwhelmed markets.

Glencore and Rio Tinto, both of which are to announce results on Wednesday morning, saw their shares fall towards the bottom of the index. They were joined near the bottom by Anglo American.

Barclays bank ended at the top of the FTSE 100 index with a 4.61 per cent rise after it announced plans to cut around £2 billion in annual costs from 2026. It did not say how many jobs are expected to be lost.

Holiday Inn owner Intercontinental Hotels Group was the FTSE’s second-best performer as its shares rose 5.36 per cent.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Barclays, up 12.8p to 161.8p, Intercontinental Hotels Group, up 424p to 8,334p, Aviva, up 13.5p to 443.8p, Centrica, up 2.6p to 133.4p, and Severn Trent, up 46p to 2,589p.

The biggest fallers were Rio Tinto, down 198p to 5,230p, Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, down 27p to 770p, Anglo American, down 58.4p to 1,719.6p, Airtel Africa, down 2.15p to 93.75p, and AstraZeneca, down 214p to 10,204p.


Shares on the Continent were hit by the reopening in the US after markets in New York were closed for Presidents’ Day on Monday.

At the end of the day in Europe, Frankfurt’s Dax index had fallen 0.14 per cent, while the Cac 40 in Paris had closed up 0.42 per cent.

New York

The tech-heavy Nasdaq led losses on Wall Street as chipmaker Nvidia fell sharply ahead of its highly anticipated earnings report, while retail industry bellwether Walmart’s upbeat forecast limited losses on the Dow.

Shares of the chip designer fell nearly 6 per cent, while the broader Philadelphia semiconductor index shed 2.5 per cent as other chip stocks also followed.

Investors are worried if Nvidia’s quarterly results, expected after markets close on Wednesday, will justify its lofty valuation and add to the frenzy around artificial intelligence (AI) or hurt AI optimism.

AI-fuelled bets have helped Nvidia become the third-most valuable US company and recently replace Tesla as Wall Street’s most traded stock. Tesla shares fell 3.9 per cent.

Shares in Super Micro Computer extended losses by 11.3 per cent, after finishing down 20 per cent on Friday as investors took a break from betting on the stock as a big beneficiary of strong AI technology demand.

Walmart hit a record high and was last up 3.4 per cent after the US retail giant forecast fiscal 2025 sales largely above Wall Street expectations and raised its annual dividend by 9 per cent. This helped cushion the impact on Dow Jones.

The S&P 500 consumer staples sector, which houses Walmart, rose 1.1 per cent, while information technology dropped 1.8 per cent. – Additional reporting: Agencies

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter