China’s reopening boosts markets

Airlines rise across markets as dealers hail strong end to the week

Markets rose on Friday on optimism about the impact of China’s reopening from its latest Covid wave.


Irish shares enjoyed a strong end to the week, with some heavyweights gaining ground, dealers said.

Paddy Power and Betfair-owner Flutter Entertainment was up 1.88 per cent at €143.40 ahead of the close. Dealers noted the positive move for the Irish betting giant helped push up the overall Iseq index.

Elsewhere, packaging giant Smurfit Kappa had edged 0.57 per cent up to €39.04.


Ryanair, which earlier in the day said it was recruiting 200 more cabin crew, had added 0.47 per cent to €14.93 by around 4.30pm. Traders said airlines generally enjoyed a good day in Europe on confidence that demand will boost ticket prices this year.

Among smaller stocks hotelier Dalata put in a notable performance, trading 4.3 per cent up at €3.97. Dealers said there was “nothing dramatic” behind the move, but pointed out that forecasters had been positive about Irish hotels’ prospects earlier in the week.

Cairn Homes was off 1 per cent at 97.6 cent, while rival housebuilder Glenveagh slipped 3.38 per cent to 94.2 cent.

AIB rose 1 per cent to €3.72, while peer Bank of Ireland was up 1.9 per cent at €9.22.


Aer Lingus and British Airways owner-International Consolidated Airlines Group added 1.84 per cent to 162.84 pence sterling on what was a good day for airlines. Low-cost carrier and key Ryanair rival, Easyjet climbed 3.19 per cent to 450p while eastern Europe-focused Wizz Air gained 3 per cent to 2,762p.

Dealers noted that wide swings in airline stocks had become commonplace since Covid’s outbreak three years ago. “People take a view on it,” said one trader, “they either love it or hate it, it’s a bit of a Marmite sector.”

Airtricity-owner SSE said output from its gas power plants was 27 per cent higher over the last nine months of 2022 when compared to the year before, boosting its stock by 2.85 per cent to 1,750.5p.

The Restaurant Group had a positive session as investors welcomed news that activist hedge fund Oasis had snapped up a 5 per cent stake in the owner of Wagamama. Shares moved almost 6 per cent higher to 37.3p at the close of play.

Shares in stationery chain The Works slipped 20 per cent to 34.2p after it recorded “disappointing” online trade over Christmas.


European indices rose as China’s lifting of Covid curbs ahead of its new year boosted investor optimism.

Shares in Siemens Energy slipped 1.4 per cent early on Friday after the wind turbine-manufacturer slashed its 2023 profit outlook on rising maintenance and warranty costs. However, its stock had recovered ground to inch 0.75 per cent ahead to €18.88 later in the day.

Ericsson was down 4.7 per cent at 59 Swedish kroner after the telecoms company’s earnings missed forecasts for the third consecutive quarter. The stock had been off as much as 5.5 per cent earlier in the day.

Shares in a another Swedish giant Sandvik climbed 4.83 per cent to SKr214.8 as the mining and excavation machinery-maker’s fourth-quarter earnings beat expectations.

Cellnex shares were up more than 9 per cent on newspaper reports that American Tower and Brookfield were weighing a bid for the Spanish mobile network tower operator.


US stocks rose in morning trade on Friday, clawing back some of this week’s losses, amid a rally in technology shares and speculation that much of the bad news is already priced into the market. The S&P 500 Index rose for the first time in four days in a broad-based rally, with all but three of the 11 sectors gaining. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 jumped more than 1 per cent.

Google owner Alphabet gained after revealing a plan to cut 12,000 jobs. Netflix surged after reporting stronger-than-expected subscriber numbers. – Additional reporting: Bloomberg, Reuters

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas