AIB and Glanbia fall amid lively AGMs
European shares were on target to close lower yesterday, dragged down by signals that China has put broader stimulus on hold and mixed earnings reports from companies in the United States.
The declines came despite strong earnings from firms such as SAP and Credit Suisse.
"The market is taking some cues from the slowing of stimulus in China," said Stefan Koopman, Market Economist, eurozone, Rabobank. "For the European markets to get some traction in the upcoming months we really need to depend on what's happening in China."
Most major regional bourses were in the red, though the slew of upbeat earnings helping German and Swiss indices advance.
Business software company SAP soared to an all-time high and boosted the DAX after the company set ambitious new mid-term targets and as activist investor Elliott Management disclosed a €1.2bn stake in the company.
By mid-afternoon, Ireland's Iseq Overall Index had mirrored declines in other European bourses, falling 0.26pc to 6,476.
Shares in CRH had advanced 1.1pc as Ireland's biggest company published a solid first-quarter update and said it will commence a €350m share buyback. It has also agreed to sell its European shutters and awnings unit.
Shares in AIB were down 3.1pc to €4.08. It held its annual general meeting yesterday. It said that it has had a good start to 2019 but that remuneration remains a key issue for the retention of key personnel.
Glanbia saw its shares plunge more than 6.3pc by mid-afternoon to €16.30. It also held its annual general meeting yesterday. It said that while first-quarter revenue jumped 8.4pc, it experienced a double-digit volume decline in its global performance nutrition division.
Kicking off the first-quarter balance sheet assessment for banks in Europe, Swiss lender Credit Suisse initially rose 2.5pc after posting a surprise profit but shares fell back later, barely putting them in the black.
The UK's Ftse-100 was 0.7pc lower an hour before the close, while Germany's DAX was up 0.5pc. France's CAC-40 was down 0.3pc.
In the US, stocks pulled back slightly following Tuesday's record highs.