independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

'Least preferred' C&C plunges 10.72pc down to €4.24

DRINKS company C&C was the big decliner on the Irish Stock Exchange yesterday, ending the session down 10.72pc at €4.24 a share.

The plunge came after analysts at global banking giant Citi named the Bulmers cider maker as its "least preferred" stock – replacing Imperial Tobacco.

Citi said that the US market where C&C has been making acquisition-led inroads could weaken as competition picks up, and said consumer spending here and in the UK could weaken.

On a potentially more positive note, the analysis does say C&C could potentially attract a bid.

The big riser in Dublin was Elan, up 8.6pc to €10.07 a share after the company confirmed it is putting itself up for sale.

In what looks set to become a bonanza for corporate financiers and M&A lawyers, Elan is seeking a white knight investor to help fend of Royalty Pharma's hostile takeover offer.

Overall, the ISEQ index of Irish shares closed up 41.98 points at 3,915.54 yesterday, in line with most European markets.

In the US, stocks and the dollar fell as fears that major central banks, the US Federal Reserve in particular, may start scaling back stimulus-focused policies sooner than previously anticipated.

Attention is shifting to a meeting of Federal Reserve policymakers next week, which would shed light on when the US central bank plans to scale back its monthly $85bn bond purchase programme.

"Markets are looking at next week's Fed meeting to be the big driver in the short-term," said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.

Wall Street stocks fell as investors took profits after the S&P 500 recorded its second best day of the year on Thursday. The decline was led by weakness in the financial and energy sectors, after the market rallied more than 1pc on stronger-than-expected US economic data.

But European and Asian share markets were firmer gains, helping keep the MSCI world marginally higher on the day.

In Europe, the the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top stocks closed up – bolstered by M&A activity, including around Elan and Nokia, which was up 4.7pc on a report that Siemens is in talks with private-equity firms for a sale of joint venture Nokia Siemens Networks. (Additional reporting Reuters)

Irish Independent

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