Markets get nervous about Covid and interest rate hikes

European stocks closed near one-month lows on Friday as a cocktail of negative factors, from China’s Covid lockdowns to concerns about rapid interest rate rises, weakened sentiment globally.

Global stocks broadly hit five-week lows as investors feared rapid interest rate hikes in the United States, Britain and the euro zone amid rising inflation would weigh on economic growth.

Dublin

The Irish stock index closed nearly 1.5 percent lower on Friday, following the broader trend seen in global markets.

Bank stocks were mixed, with Bank of Ireland gaining 3.3 percent to end the day at €6.77, while IBA it was marginally lower at €2.08.

Dalata Hotel Group fell almost 2 percent during the session, closing at 4.08 euros. Airline shares Ryanair they were down nearly 4 percent at €14.65. A three-day cabin crew strike prompted the airline to cancel some flights from Belgian airports this weekend.

Elsewhere, kappa smurf closed at €39.55, 1.9% less, while CRH it was 2 percent off at €38.38.

London

The blue-chip FTSE 100 Index closed down 1.4% and the country-focused mid-cap FTSE 250 Index declined 1.3%.

Retailers fell 2.5 percent as data showed British retail sales volumes fell more-than-expected in March from February, while consumer confidence approached record lows in April, hit by rising of inflation.

Banks, life insurers and miners fell between 2.2% and 3.0% and weighed on the blue chip index. The FTSE 100 posted a weekly decline of more than 1 percent.

B&M it fell 6.1 percent after the discount retailer said chief executive Simon Arora planned to retire next year after more than 17 years at the helm of the business.

berkeley group it rose 0.4 percent after Jefferies upgraded shares of the homebuilder to “buy” from “hold.” HomeServe jumped 14.9 percent after it said it was in talks with Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management for a possible bid for the home repair services firm.

Europe

The pan-European Stoxx 600 lost 1.8 percent to 453.43, its weakest result since March 25.

The basic resources sector, which is home to global miners such as Glencore and Rio Tinto, fell 3.6 percent as metal prices were hit by shutdowns in China, the top metals consumer.

Attention also turned to France’s presidential runoff on Sunday, where President Emmanuel Macron may have extended his lead over far-right challenger Marine Le Pen. France’s CAC 40 closed down 2%, along with the sell-off, but beat expectations on a weekly basis that Macron would win his re-election bid.

There were also some earnings disappointments. kering fell 4.3 percent after posting negative sales at its crown jewel Gucci, hit by lockdowns in China.

from Germany SAP it lost 2 percent after posting a 300 million euro revenue hit from its departure from Russia.

swedish hygiene and health company Essity jumped 13.3 percent after first-quarter earnings beat expectations.

New York

US stocks fell as disappointing corporate results and prospects for aggressive interest rate hikes weighed on sentiment.

The S&P 500 fell more than 1 percent with all 11 industry groups in the red. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 traded near the day’s lows. Meanwhile, the market’s so-called fear gauge, the Cboe or VIX volatility index, jumped to a one-month high.

Treasuries were mixed, with the yield on the two-year policy-sensitive note rising five basis points. The dollar rose to the highest level since June 2020.

Among corporate profits, Verizon Communications had its biggest drop in two years after cutting its full-year sales forecast. American Express fell after the credit card giant reported spending rose in the first quarter.

The health sector led the losses in the S&P 500, with HCA health sinking after cutting its forecast on labor costs. intuitive surgical it tumbled after its systems placements disappointed some analysts even as revenue beat estimates. – Additional reporting: Reuters, Bloomberg

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