Thursday 8 December 2016

European stocks' worst week in two months over growth fears

Bloomberg and Colm Kelpie

Published 14/11/2015 | 02:30

Traders work at their screens in front of the German share price index, DAX board, at the stock exchange in Frankfurt. Photo: Reuters
Traders work at their screens in front of the German share price index, DAX board, at the stock exchange in Frankfurt. Photo: Reuters

Worse-than-forecast data on Eurozone growth, coupled with lingering concern about a Federal Reserve rate increase, dragged European stocks to a three-week low.

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The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.8pc at the close of trading in London, with three-fourths of its shares down, as data showed Eurozone gross domestic product in the third quarter increased less than economists had forecast. The measure lost 2.7pc this week, the most since the beginning of September. By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ was down 0.28pc or 18.31 points to end the trading week at 6,475.76.

The leaders on the Dublin market included building materials group CRH, which closed up 1.4pc to €25.13, while drinks group C&C rose 1.1pc to €3.70.

On the other side of the board, the laggards included Glanbia, which slipped 1.5pc to €17.05, while food ingredients company Kerry Group droped 1.5pc to €71.99.

"There are still ongoing concerns about slowing economic growth, and there are other worries about more QE in Europe versus a potential rate increase in US, which creates a dichotomy," said Patrick Spencer, equities vice chairman at Robert W Baird & Co in London. "The higher dollar, higher rates and slower growth make investors worry, and the numbers in China haven't been so great lately."

The 12pc rebound that took the Stoxx 600 to its highest level since August last week is being questioned amid weak economic figures, while the Fed prepares to raise interest rates. The equity gauge lost 1.6pc on Thursday, the most in six weeks, on concern that higher borrowing costs in the US may hamper the global recovery, just as commodities tumbled to their lowest levels since 1999.

All Stoxx 600 industry groups fell yesterday, with retail and household-goods companies sliding the most.

Irish Independent

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