World stock markets were little changed on Monday and benchmark US bond yields slipped from 13-month highs as investors looked to the US central bank’s meeting later in the week.
The Irish index of shares rose on Monday, ending the session 1.15 per cent higher at 8,068.
Shares in Ryanair rose 2.2 per cent, tracking gains in global travel stocks amid optimism over possible economic recovery. The airline’s shares ended the session at €16.61. Hotel group Dalata also saw its shares gain, ending the day up 2.5 per cent at €4.495.
Banking stocks were mixed, with Bank of Ireland gaining 0.8 per cent to €4.03, while AIB was flat at €2.15.
Other movers on the Irish market included Smurfit Kappa, which saw its share price fall 2.33 per cent to €38.60, and building material group Kingspan, which fell 2.27 per cent to €68.95.
London’s FTSE 100 fell on Monday as weakness in commodities-linked stocks offset initial gains, while travel and leisure stocks jumped to near pre-pandemic levels on optimism over an economic recovery this year.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index reversed course and ended 0.2 per cent lower as mining majors Rio Tinto and BHP Group fell, tracking lower iron ore prices in the face of steel production curbs in China.
Oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell fell, tracking weaker oil prices.
Travel and leisure stocks jumped 2.2 per cent to near 13-month highs, with Flutter Entertainment, the world’s largest online betting group, topping the FTSE 100 after saying it was considering listing a small shareholding of its US FanDuel business.
The domestically-focused FTSE 250 index ended flat.
The FTSE 100 has rebounded more than 37 per cent from a coronavirus-driven crash last year, but has struggled to reach pre-pandemic highs as new lockdown measures weighed.
Still, with Britain slowly relaxing curbs, and with vaccinations expected to pick up pace, investors have turned optimistic over the economy.
European stocks ended flat on Monday, with declines led by financial and mining stocks, while optimism about a strong economic rebound helped limit losses.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was flat, inching closer to a record peak set last year, with travel and leisure, automakers and food and beverage sectors among the top gainers. Basic resources and energy stocks fell 1.5 per cent each, while financials dropped 1 per cent.
Danone gained 2.9 per cent after the company’s board ousted chairman and chief executive Emmanuel Faber due to growing pressure from shareholders. Its stock was on course to post its biggest percentage gain in more than four months.
Among other stocks, Milan-listed shares of carmaker Stellantis gained 2.1 per cent after Deutsche Bank started coverage with a ‘buy’ rating. German used-car retailer Auto1 rose 0.8 per cent after brokerages boosted their ratings on the company a month after it raised €1.83 billion in its initial public offering. Swiss drugmaker Roche gained 2.1 per cent after it said it would buy GenMark Diagnostics, a US-based maker of molecular diagnostic tests, in a $1.8 billion deal.
Wall Street’s main indexes were higher in afternoon trade after the benchmark S&P 500 set record highs last week, while European shares were flat after rising to pre-pandemic levels, with travel shares gaining in both regions.
The Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting ending on Wednesday is in focus with rising bond yields and concerns over a pick-up in inflation. Fed policymakers are expected this week to forecast that the US economy will grow in 2021 at the fastest rate in decades.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 36.31 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 32,814.95, the S&P 500 gained 1.59 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 3,944.93 and the Nasdaq Composite added 39.53 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 13,359.40.
Airline shares rose as the companies pointed to concrete signs of an industry recovery as a slowing Covid-19 pandemic helps leisure bookings.
The $1.9 trillion stimulus President Joe Biden signed into law last week, expected improving economic data and the rollout of Covid-19 vaccinations supported gains, even as investors were attuned to the outlook for monetary policy.
Longer-term US Treasury yields fell as the market looked ahead to the Fed meeting and the latest government debt auctions. – Additional reporting: Reuters, Bloomberg