European stocks fell on Friday, capping their third straight week in the red as the basic resources sector was hit by declines in Anglo American, but news that Britain was mulling easing travel restrictions boosted airlines and hotel groups.
The Dublin market followed other indices down on Friday with the Iseq closing 0.2 per cent lower at 8,785.21.
The aviation and leisure sectors were in focus across Europe, with Ryanair and Dalata both gaining as a result. The low-cost carrier, which announced 5,000 European jobs this week, was up 1.6 per cent to €16.85, while the State’s largest hotels group closed 3 per cent higher.
Industrials were down generally, with CRH shedding 2.9 per cent to €42.59. Kingspan bucked the downward trend, closing up 0.4 at €97.
Banks were also lower, with AIB falling 0.1 per cent to €2.29 and Bank of Ireland losing 0.78 per cent to €4.96.
Other movers in Dublin included Paddy Power owner Flutter, which jumped 1.8 per cent to €179.25, and Glanbia, up 2.2 per cent to €14.62.
London’s FTSE 100 ended lower on Friday, weighed by a slump in mining stocks, while British retail sales fell unexpectedly in August, adding to concerns about economic recovery.
After rising as much as 0.9 per cent, the blue-chip FTSE 100 index ended 1.2 per cent lower, and marked its third consecutive week in red. The domestically-focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index eased 0.2 per cent.
Leading declines were base metal miners including Anglo American, Rio Tinto, BHP Group and Glencore, down between 2.6 per cent and 8.2 per cent, tracking weakness in iron ore.
Airlines Wizz Air, EasyJet and British Airways and Aer Lingus owner IAG, and holiday company TUI AG rose between 2.2 per cent and 5.7 per cent, as Britain was set to consider easing its Covid-19 rules for international travel.
Wickes Group jumped 3.3 per cent to the top of FTSE 250 index after Deutsche upgraded the DIY retailer to “buy” from “hold”.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index fell 0.9 per cent on Friday, with the German Dax shedding 1 per cent. Most regional indexes were pressured this week on worries about slowing global growth and tighter regulation of Chinese firms. After closing up 3.4 per cent on Thursday in one of the best single-day performances this year, the European travel and leisure index added 1.2 per cent. The index closed 2.7 per cent higher for week, leading gains across European sectors.
China-exposed luxury stocks such as LVMH, Kering, Hermes and Richemont rebounded, following sharp losses earlier this week on fears of fresh coronavirus-related restrictions and regulatory moves in China.
Germany’s Commerzbank climbed 1.2 per cent after a Handelsblatt report said US investor Cerberus was considering taking a 15.6 per cent stake in the bank after the federal election.
Spanish pharmaceuticals company Grifols rose 5.8 per cent after it proposed a €1.6 billion takeover of its German rival Biotest, in a move to consolidate the plasma-based drug industry.
US stock indexes slipped on Friday led by major technology firms, while uncertainty over higher corporate taxes and an upcoming Federal Reserve meeting also weighed on sentiment.
The Nasdaq was the worst performer among the main US indexes and was set for its worst day since late July as a batch of strong economic readings encouraged investors to pivot into economically sensitive sectors and out of tech this week.
Analysts said the S&P 500 was trading close to its 50-day moving average, which tends to be a big support for the index. Essentially, Friday’s losses could lead to a rebound next week.
The simultaneous expiration of stock options, stock index futures and index options contracts, known as triple witching, caused volatility through the trading session.
Among other movers, vaccine makers Moderna and Pfizer fell amid an ongoing debate over whether Americans should receive a booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine. – Additional reporting: Reuters