Markets give up gains as hopes fade
European shares fell back yesterday, with chemicals maker Evonik and major healthcare stocks among the worst performers, halting a run of five straight days of gains.
In Dublin the Iseq slipped back 0.59pc to 6,341.02 and the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which reached a one-month high earlier this week, slid 0.5pc. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index also weakened by 0.3pc.
Speciality chemicals producer Evonik slid 6.3pc after flagging a decline in 2016 adjusted core earnings.
Major healthcare stocks such as Roche and GlaxoSmithKline also fell after credit rating agency Moody's cut its outlook on the global pharmaceuticals industry to "stable" from "positive".
After a turbulent start to the year due to worries about global growth and the health of the banking sector, European stock markets enjoyed a recent rally as oil prices recovered and fears over a US economic slowdown abated.
However, the FTSEurofirst remains down 7pc so far in 2016, and some analysts said more signs that the global economy was on a firmer footing were needed to push markets higher.
JC Decaux climbed 3.8pc after the French advertising company forecast organic revenue growth of around 9pc in the first quarter of this year and proposed a 12pc hike in its 2015 dividend.
Telecom Italia also surged 6pc after a Bloomberg News report that the position of its chief executive was being reviewed by the Italian phone company's biggest investor Vivendi. Telecom Italia declined to comment.
US stocks were also lower in early afternoon trading yesterday, dragged down by health and tech stocks, and ahead of the crucial monthly jobs report.
Additional reporting by Reuters