Wednesday 20 September 2017

Smurfit and Aryzta lead as European market boosted by Unilever

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

European stocks ended the session little changed as a jump in Unilever shares offset declines in banks and commodity producers.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was down 0.05pc or 3.30 points to end the trading week at 6,540.23

The leaders on the Dublin market included packaging giant Smurfit Kappa, which rose 1.4pc to €26.17, while speciality baker Aryzta was up 2pc to €31.

On the other side of the board, the laggards included insurance firm FBD, which fell 2pc to €8.10, while insulation group Kingspan dropped 1.74pc to €29.35.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index added less than 0.1pc at the close.

The benchmark erased a drop of as much as 0.6pc, boosted by a 13pc surge in Unilever after Kraft Heinz said the consumer-goods peer rejected its merger approach.

Miners and energy shares tracked declines in metal and oil prices.

The Stoxx 600 trimmed a weekly advance as it lost ground after capping its longest rally in 19 months.

Volkswagen led carmakers lower, down 2.3pc after global sales of its own brand vehicles fell in January.

Stoxx 600 banks dropped the most in almost two weeks. The sector is still poised for a fifth straight monthly advance, which would be the longest winning streak in three years.

Dutch insurance company NN Group dropped 7.6pc after its fourth quarter core profit missed expectations, while power producer Drax fell 5.3pc after saying it was reviewing its dividend policy. However, broader market losses were partly offset by stronger airlines. Air France-KLM jumped 12.6pc after reporting a better-than-expected operating profit for 2016 and said it had made a "resilient" start to 2017. (Additional reporting agencies)

Irish Independent

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