independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

ISEQ falls in tandem with Europe

Traders await the release of third-quarter results in the USA today. (Photo: Getty Images)

IRISH shares fell in tandem with their European counterparts as fears resurfaced about the health of the world economy. The World Bank cut its East Asian growth forecast and investors awaited a meeting of euro-area finance ministers for signs on how they will tackle the debt crisis.

Those worries weighed on stocks exposed to the world economy. The only index of shares to gain in Dublin yesterday was the exchange's small cap index, which gained 0.5pc. The benchmark ISEQ Overall Index closed down 1.3pc at 3297.29 points.

Among the biggest decliners was CRH, which dropped 2.2pc to €14.67 amid concerns about the US economy and the so-called fiscal cliff. The IMF warned yesterday that the cliff could have a severe impact on the US and the rest of the world.

Ryanair fell 1.4pc to €4.54. Among the gainers were Abbey, which closed up 1.5pc at €6.75.

Glanbia enjoyed another excellent session that pushed the shares to a new high of €7.38 as investors bet the break-up of the company's dairy business will be good news.

Elsewhere in Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost 1pc, the largest decline since September 28. The measure climbed 2.1pc last week as the US unemployment rate drop- ped to the lowest level since 2009 and stress tests bolstered confidence in Spanish banks.

Declined

National benchmark indices declined in all of the 18 western European markets, except Iceland. The FTSE 100 Index slipped 0.5pc, Germany's DAX lost 1.4pc and France's CAC 40 dropped 1.5pc.

"Europe is still short of showing any indications of growth," said Jakup Petur Baerentsen and Mikkel Petersen, equity advisers at Nordea Private Bank in Copenhagen.

"Any good news this week will most likely have to come from Spain -- if the nation makes a formal request for a bailout from the eurozone and the IMF."

In China, the Shanghai Composite Index retreated 0.6pc on the first day of trading after a week-long holiday amid concern the deepening economic slowdown will hurt profits and as money-market rates rose the most in a month.

The World Bank said growth in developing East Asia, which excludes Japan and India, will probably ease to 7.2pc this year from 8.3pc in 2011. That is the slowest pace since 2001.

Alcoa unofficially starts the US earnings season with the release of its third-quarter results today, the fifth anniversary of the record highs in the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Back in Europe, KBC slid 5.2pc as Belgium's biggest bank and insurer by market value said it plans to pull out of several markets but not Ireland. The shares have still more than doubled this year.

Irish Independent

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