Ryanair surges on profits and sale talk
Published 27/05/2015 | 02:30
European stocks posted their longest losing streak in three weeks as US data and comments by Federal Reserve officials stoked concern of a rate increase.
In Ireland though the Iseq index finished the session up by a marginal 0.07pc to 6,266.98.
Ryanair shares led the gainers, closing up 4.78pc after it announced record annual profits and as the Government edged closer to approving a sale of the State's Aer Lingus shares to IAG. Rival EasyJet advanced 1.6pc.
Ryanair is the biggest Aer Lingus shareholder with a close to 30pc stake.
Aer Lingus shares nudged up 1.05pc to €2.395 each ahead of the anticipated formal announcement that the State will accept the €2.55-a-share IAG offer.
Elsewhere the Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost 0.7pc to fall to 403.61 at the close of trading, reversing an earlier advance. Investors are also watching for developments in Greek bailout talks, with a payment due at the end of next week.
US reports on capital-goods orders and new home sales in April, and consumer confidence in May all beat estimates. Fed Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester said yesterday the "time is near" for a US rate increase, while Chair Janet Yellen indicated last Friday that weak first-quarter growth won't halt plans to raise borrowing costs this year.
"We have Greece to worry about, just as concerns regarding a rate hike heat up in the US," said Francois Savary, chief investment officer at Reyl & Cie in Geneva.
"That's all contributing to a slightly more cautious market in the past few days as investors reassess their investment scenarios."
In Athens the ASE Index rose 1.1pc, halting its largest two-day drop in a month.