European markets down in late plunge
Published 22/12/2015 | 02:30
European equities, which managed to stay up most of the day despite a plunge in the Spanish market, capitulated in the last hour of trading yesterday.
By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was down 0.52pc, or 35.26 points, to end the trading day at 6,712.73.
The leaders on the Dublin index included Ryanair, which increased 1.1pc to €15.16, while Applegreen closed up 3pc to €5.50.
On the other side of the board, the laggards included speciality baker Aryzta, which slipped 2.7pc to €43.86, while insurance group FBD dropped 2.1pc to €6.66.
Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 1.1pc at the close of trading in London, erasing an advance of as much as 0.8pc as energy companies declined with oil and the euro strengthened. Spain's IBEX 35 Index tumbled 3.6pc, the most since August, after the nation's prime minister lost his majority in an inconclusive weekend election.
"People are reducing risk into year-end," said Stewart Richardson, chief investment officer at RMG Wealth Management in London.
"We had a lot of hype in the market post-Fed and a positive reaction to that, so now the market is correcting. Political uncertainty in Spain is not very supportive."
The Stoxx 600 slid after posting its best week in a month, thanks to a jump in exporters and financial companies following the first Federal Reserve interest-rate increase in almost a decade. Yesterday, it trimmed its annual advance to 4.3pc, closing 14pc below the record reached in April.
In Spain, no clear governing majority emerged from Sunday's election. While Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's People's Party beat out the Socialists to take the most votes and earn the first shot at forging a government, he lost a third of his politicians.
Yesterday, banks contributed the most to the stock-market decline.