European markets head south again
European equities ended lower yesterday, with financial shares losing ground and stocks such as Skanska and Daimler slumping after trading without the attraction of their latest dividend payouts.
European banks fell 2.2pc amid talk of more lay-offs and cutbacks planned by Europe's major lenders as they struggle with zero rates. The European Central Bank's willingness to ease monetary policy further, according to three top officials including its president, also soured sentiment. Italian banks Unicredit, BMPS, Banco Popolare and UBI Banca fell by between 5.9pc to 8.1pc.
"If bank stocks are a leading indicator then broader markets are in for a large pullback," said Jasper Lawler, analyst at CMC Markets.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 ended 0.8pc lower after hitting a one-month low earlier in the session.
The index, down 10pc so far this year, remained on track for its fourth straight week of losses.
In Ireland, the ISEQ Overall Index shed 0.73pc to 6,157.08.
Hotel group Dalata slumped 3.6pc to €4.63, while Green REIT lost 2pc to €1.38.
Bank of Ireland was 1.6pc lower at 24 cent. Smurfit Kappa rose 1.68pc to €22.40.
The UK's FTSE-100 dipped 0.4pc. France's CAC-40 was 0.9pc lower and Germany's DAX lost 1pc.
German carmaker Daimler fell 4.8pc, dragging the sector index down to end 2.5pc weaker. Among other companies losing the right to the next payout were Skanska, which fell 8.7pc, making the stock the biggest faller on the FTSEurofirst, and Pearson, which slipped 5pc.
STMicroelectronics gained 4.3pc, with some brokers linking the surge to the strong earnings update from its client Samsung.