European stock markets edge down
European bourses edged down yesterday amid continuing concerns about the economic outlook and nervousness regarding what action the European Central Bank may or might or might not take at its meeting this week.
Broker price target cuts also played a part in depressing markets.
European stocks have generally rallied after a rocky start to 2016, as oil prices recovered and fears over a US economic slowdown abated. Nevertheless, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index remains down around 7pc so far this year.
JP Morgan Cazenove reduced its rating on equities to "underweight" for the first time since 2007, saying the recent market rebound was set to peter out.
In Ireland, the ISEQ Overall Index ended yesterday's session 0.87pc lower at 6,308.57.
Movers yesterday included ferry group Irish Continental, which reported a near 50pc increase in its 2015 EBITDA. Its shares closed down 2.2pc at €4.79 after being up earlier in the day.
Shares in Paddy Power Betfair were more or less unchanged at €125.35 ahead of the release of its full-year results today. Shares in exploration firm Petroceltic were suspended as shareholder Worldview attempts to have an examiner appointed to the firm.
The UK's FTSE 100 dipped almost 0.3pc. France's CAC 40 yielded 0.3pc, while Germany's DAX was 0.46pc lower, dragged down by car shares.
Brent oil prices hit a high for the year above $40 a barrel after data showed a smaller-than-expected build in US crude stockpiles, helping US stocks extend recent gains.
The euro also fell against the dollar ahead of the ECB meeting on Thursday, with more rate cuts expected.