Shares slip as investors await Fed and ECB updates

Irish market down more than 1% as bank and food stocks weaken

European shares slipped on Friday, rounding off a lacklustre week that saw investors move to the sidelines ahead of crucial updates from the US Fed and the European Central Bank.


The Irish market fell more than 1 per cent on Friday, dragged lower by bank shares and food stocks. AIB and Bank of Ireland both lost around 1.5 per cent before the closing bell, while Kerry Group shed almost 2.5 per cent to end the day at €89.60.

While homebuilders Cairn and Glenveagh both saw the value of their stocks climb, gaining 0.4 per cent and 1.6 per cent respectively, shares in CRH fell 0.85 per cent, giving up some of the gains made after the construction materials group said it would switch its primary listing to the US, pending High Court approval. Insulation specialist Kingspan declined 2.3 per cent.

Airline Ryanair fell 0.2 per cent to end the day at €16.79, while Paddy Power-owner Flutter Entertainment was off almost 0.9 per cent by the closing bell, to end the week at €178.



Equities slipped in London after chemicals firm Croda hauled the sector to its worst day in over three years, while housing-related stocks continued their downward spiral as stresses in the sector continued to build.

The FTSE 100 benchmark index lost 0.5 per cent, while the FTSE 250 midcap index slipped 0.1 per cent. The indexes logged weekly declines of 0.6 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively.

The FTSE 100 fell for the third straight week as jitters around global interest rates remaining higher for longer dented risk appetite following surprise hikes by two major central banks earlier this week.

The chemicals sector lost 7.7 per cent, dragged down by a 12.5 per cent fall in component Croda International after the speciality chemicals group’s profit warning.

Among individual movers, Network International advanced 5.6 per cent after Brookfield Asset Management said it had reached an agreement with the payments provider for a cash offer of £2.2 billion.

Amigo Holdings soared 123.1 per cent on granting shareholder Michael Fleming an agreement to look for financing options for the troubled company.


The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed 0.2 per cent down and ended the week 0.5 per cent lower. Investors feared that the Fed could opt for a hawkish stance in its meeting next week, while the ECB is expected to continue to tighten monetary policy.

Weakness in the rate-sensitive insurance sector and banks weighed on the Stoxx 600, with the sectors down 0.5 per cent and 0.4 per cent, respectively.

The broader European chemicals index fell 2 per cent, leading sectoral declines. Chemicals also fell the most among major European sectors for the week, down 3 per cent.

Orsted gained 4.0 per cent, lifting the utilities sector, as Goldman Sachs raised its price target on the renewable energy group.

Vivendi shed 2.4 per cent after Euronext said it will be excluded from France’s Cac 40.

New York

US shares struck new highs for the year on Friday, setting world stocks up for gains for the week, as rising bets that the Federal Reserve will skip a rate hike next week overshadowed worries about US markets being drained of cash.

Helped by a 5.7 per cent surge in Tesla Inc, the S&P 500 jumped 0.4 per cent to levels last seen in August, the Nasdaq Composite added 0.6 per cent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average trailed with a 0.3 per cent gain.

Leading crypto asset Bitcoin briefly dipped before recovering to trade 0.3 per cent firmer at $26,601 after crypto exchange Binance said it was suspending dollar deposits and would soon pause fiat currency withdrawal channels following a US Securities and Exchange Commission crackdown. – Additional reporting: Reuters

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

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