European stocks finish lower after volatile session

US jobs figures come in well below expectations

European stocks ended a volatile session lower on Friday as investors digested data showing slowing jobs growth in the United States, but they still marked their best week in two months as fears of soaring inflation were tempered.

A US report showed nonfarm payrolls increased by 194,000 jobs last month, compared with an expectation of 500,000. Although the headline number was a huge miss, analysts said excluding the seasonally adjusted factors, the number was not too disappointing.


The Dublin market closed off 0.5 per cent, dragged lower by declines in banking and building stocks.

Shares in AIB fell 1.56 per cent to €2.40 while Bank of Ireland saw its stock slip 1 per cent to €5.07.


Glenveagh Properties edged higher, gaining just under 1 per cent to close at €1.126. However, things were looking less positive for building stocks. Cairn Homes slipped 0.7 per cent to €1.12, while CRH was marginally off, losing 0.27 per cent to end the week at €40.68, following on the heels of a 3 per cent gain in the prior day's trading.

Kingspan was also down, closing at €87.10, or 1.65 per cent lower.

Ryanair stock gained 0.36 per cent to €16.83, buoyed by Britain's plans to scrap tough Covid-19 quarantine requirements for 47 destinations.


Surging oil stocks helped the UK’s blue-chip index outperform its European peers on Friday as crude prices rallied.

The commodity-heavy FTSE 100 rose 0.3 per cent, with shares in oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell jumping more than 2 per cent as an ongoing global energy crunch drove US crude futures to $80 a barrel for the first time since 2014.

The domestically focused mid-cap index, however, eased 0.1 per cent, with UK-listed shares of travel company Tui slumping 15.5 per cent as a rights issue got underway.

While concerns about soaring gas prices and labour shortages have sent the midcap index on its worst weekly run since 2018, banks and oil stocks have driven weekly gains for theFTSE 100.

Shares in British Airways-owner IAG edged up. Weir Group fell 2.5 per cent after saying it was the target of an attempted ransomware attack in the second half of September, which impacted its third-quarter profit.

Czech trucking services firm Eurowag fell 10 per cent in its London market debut after floating a day late and at a cut price.


Oil and auto stocks led gains in Europe, but this was outweighed by tech stocks falling 1.4 per cent as rising bond yields dimmed the high-growth sector's appeal.

The Stoxx 600 rose 1 per cent on the week as relief over a temporary lifting of the US debt ceiling and as easing fears of an energy crunch calmed rallying oil and gas prices which had triggered inflation worries.

Vehicle stocks rose 1.3 per cent, rebounding from a sell-off in September on concerns about supply chain bottlenecks and chip shortages hitting production.

German carmaker Daimler rose 2.6 per cent as UBS upgraded its stock to "buy" from "neutral" and hiked its price target to €100 from €79.

Cnova, the ecommerce arm of French retailer Casino, fell 3.8 per cent after saying it could no longer confirm its June financial forecast.


US stocks oscillated between gains and losses on Friday after data showed US jobs rose far less than expected in September, but not slow enough to throw the Federal Reserve off its presumed course of tapering asset purchases this year.

Six of the 11 major S&P sectors declined, with defensive real estate, healthcare and utilities among the top losers.

The energy sector jumped 2.9 per cent, while a rise in mega-cap growth shares Microsoft, Facebook and Bank of America provided the biggest boost to the S&P 500.

The banking sub-index gained 0.7 per cent, tracking a rise in the benchmark 10-year treasury yield to its highest level since June 4th.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq was weighed down by declines in shares of broadband and cable operator Charter Communications and media company Comcast which fell 4.6 per cent and 3.3 per cent, respectively, after downbeat brokerage actions.

The Labor Department’s closely watched nonfarm payrolls report showed the US economy created the fewest jobs in nine months in September amid a drop in hiring at schools and worker shortages. – Additional reporting: Reuters

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

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