Saturday 24 June 2017

European stocks close little changed

A security guard looks out from a window of the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) with a board displaying stock prices behind him in Sydney, Australia. Photo: Reuters
A security guard looks out from a window of the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) with a board displaying stock prices behind him in Sydney, Australia. Photo: Reuters
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

European stocks were little changed, after their biggest two-day rally since February, as advances in carmakers and miners offset a drop in banks.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was down 0.28pc, or 18.37 points, to end the trading session at 6,454.48.

The leaders on the Dublin market included insurance group FBD, which rose 2.7pc to €6.50, while speciality baker Aryzta increased 2.1pc to €36.68.

On the other side of the board, the laggards included insulation group Kingspan, which fell 1.4pc to €24.85, while Ryanair was down 0.6pc to €19.96.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index closed 0.1pc higher, erasing an earlier slide of as much as 0.3pc.

The benchmark advanced 3.5pc in the past two sessions, buoyed by optimism that the US economy can withstand a potential rate increase in June.

ArcelorMittal jumped 6.9pc, leading commodity producers higher, on speculation the European Commission may widen an investigation on dumping of steel imports to include more countries. Auto-related shares posted the biggest gains among industry groups, with Peugeot Citroen and Renault up more than 2.5pc. Banco Popular Espanol plunged 26pc after saying it will raise about €2.5bn by selling new shares.

"It's to be expected after the gains we've seen this week,"said Michael Hewson, a market analyst at CMC Markets in London.

"The real test is whether or not we can sustain the gains of the last two days.

"There is a lack of conviction on the part of investors with respect to the overall direction of European stocks. I don't see where that catalyst is coming from at the moment."

European shares closed just 0.5pc below a three-month high reached on April 20.

Additional reporting by Bloomberg

Irish Independent

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