Global shares move higher on hopes of eventual interest rate cuts

Iseq index advances as banks and homebuilders add value during session

Global shares drifted around record highs on Friday, after US and euro zone inflation data kept hopes of central bank rate cuts in coming months intact.

In Dublin, the Iseq All Share performed slightly weaker than headline UK and European indices.


Euronext Dublin gained 0.34 per cent on Friday, to close at 9,521.49.

Among the banks, AIB gained 1.45 per cent to close at €4.35, and Bank of Ireland rose by 3.85 per cent to a closing price of €8.36. Meanwhile, Permanent TSB held steady at €1.57.


Homebuilder Glenveagh Properties rose by 4.59 per cent to €1.19, while peer Carin Homes fell by 1.38 per cent to €1.43. Both companies published financial accounts for 2023 this week, with both seeing a boost in profits.

Building materials company Kingspan rose slightly, by 0.19 per cent, to €83.64.

Why did Bank of Ireland shares plummet despite record profits?

Listen | 46:58

Food company Glanbia rose by 3.29 per cent to €17.29, while fellow food company Kerry Group saw its share price close at €81.24, after gaining 0.12 per cent.

Ryanair fell by 1.14 per cent to €19.93, while packaging company Smurfit Kappa lost 0.41 per cent to close at €39.27.


UK equities moved higher on Friday, as shares of broadcaster ITV topped the mid-cap index after selling its stake in BritBox International to the BBC.

The export-heavy FTSE 100 Index gained 0.69 per cent to close at 7,682.50, while the more domestically focused FTSE Mid-Cap 250 Index rose by 1.57 per cent to 19,354.38.

ITV rose by 14.34 per cent after the broadcaster sold its entire 50 per cent stake in streaming service BritBox International to its joint venture partner BBC Studios for £255 million (€297.82 million).

Pearson advanced 5.09 per cent to the top of the FTSE 100 after the education company met market expectations for 2023 operating profit, which rose 31 per cent on an underlying basis.

Rightmove bucked the broader trend to move 1.2 per cent lower after the property portal said it expected its customer numbers to fall in 2024 due to macroeconomic uncertainties.


Eurostat figures published on Friday showed that inflation across the 20-nation euro zone eased to 2.6 per cent in February from 2.8 per cent a month earlier.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 Index gained 0.60 per cent on Friday to close at 497.58. At the same time, the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.09 per cent to 7,934.17 and the German DAX remained flat at 17,735.

Shares in Grifols rose 18.35 per cent to the top of Stoxx 600 after the Spanish drug maker said Shanghai RAAS stake sale will proceed and released a new cash flow target for 2024.

Daimler Truck surged 18 per cent after the German truck maker raised its dividend and announced a share buyback program on the back of better-than-expected pretax 2023 earnings.

Swiss logistics group Kuehne und Nagel tumbled 13.54 per cent to the bottom of Stoxx 600 after posting a bigger-than-expected drop in annual operating profit, hit by weaker performance across nearly all its segments.

Saint-Gobain reported a drop in 2023 sales, taking the shares of the French construction materials group down by 3.65 per cent.


Wall Street’s three main indices rose in early trading, but took a breather from the rally in the previous session that was driven by a positive inflation reading and persistent artificial-intelligence mania.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq closed at a record high on Thursday, spurred by gains in AI-linked stocks such as heavyweight chip designer Nvidia and its rival Advanced Micro Devices, which hit an all-time peak.

Shares of Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices were still up on Friday.

New York Community Bancorp slumped after the regional lender said it had found “material weaknesses” in internal controls related to its loan review and revised its fourth-quarter loss 10 times above the previously stated numbers.

Cybersecurity firm Zscaler also declined as the company reported higher operating expenses in the second quarter.

Dell Technologies jumped after the personal computer maker forecast annual revenue and profit above Wall Street estimates, betting on demand for its AI servers.

Everbridge surged after private equity firm Thoma Bravo increased its offer price for the software firm, valuing it at about $1.8 billion (€1.66 billion).

Additional reporting — Reuters

Ellen O'Regan

Ellen O’Regan

Ellen O’Regan is an Irish Times journalist.