European stocks deepen their losses
The relief rally that swept through Europe's stock markets on Wednesday came to an abrupt halt yesterday, as shares slid for the eighth time in nine days and hit their lowest levels since September 2013.
By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was down 2.54pc, or 155.9 points, to end the trading day at 5,738.81.
The leaders on the Dublin market included recruitment firm CPL Resources, which increased 3.5pc to €6 while fruit company Fyffes increased 0.8pc to €1.28.
On the other side of the board, the laggards included shipping and transport group Irish Continental, which fell 5.7pc to €4.49, and Paddy Power, which dropped 5pc to €111.70.
Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost 3.7pc - the most since August - with more than 570 of its shares slumping.
Financial results that fell below projections at Societe Generale, Rio Tinto Group and Zurich Insurance added to growing concern that central banks are powerless to stem a slowdown in the global economy. A slide in energy producers deepened as oil fell further.
"It's hard to remain bullish when you get washed away with every wave every day," said Patrick Spencer, equities vice chairman at Robert W Baird & Co in London.
"There's a lot of negative sentiment, credit spreads have blown out, you got worries about Deutsche Bank and CoCos, which just adds to the momentum.
"There's plenty of capital around but also a lot of fear. It's human emotion here."
European shares have dropped 17pc this year and reached their lowest levels since October 2013 on February 9, before rebounding 1.9pc on Wednesday.
This week alone, the Stoxx 600 has lost 6.9pc, heading for its biggest plunge since 2011. With a valuation of 13.4 times estimated profits, the gauge trades at a more than one-year low relative to the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.
Additional reporting by Bloomberg