Saturday 20 January 2018

European shares dip as gold stabilises

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Reuters
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Reuters

John Mulligan and wires

European bourses ended yesterday's session in negative territory, with pharma firms proving a drag on indices. The decline was despite a rebound in resources firms as gold prices stabilised, and a report from Goldman Sachs advising clients to ditch US equities and buy European stocks.

The STOXX Europe 600 Healthcare Index was the sector that declined the most, falling 1pc.

Shares in Novartis declined 1.9pc after the Swiss drugmaker reported a weak performance by its eyecare division in the second quarter. Novartis also came under pressure from a stronger dollar.

In Ireland, the ISEQ Overall Index mirrored declines in other European markets, dipping 0.68pc, or 43.95 points, to close at 6,458.84.

Bank of Ireland edged slightly higher earlier in the day, but was unchanged by the end of the session at just over 37 cent. Ratings agency Standard & Poor's upgraded the bank to investment grade this week.

Shares in insulation maker Kingspan dropped 3pc, or 69 cent, to €22.41. Shares in UK houebuilders fell yesterday. Insurer FBD declined 2.1pc, or 20 cent, to €9.20.

Shares in Ryanair were more or less unchanged at €12.40. Commerzbank reiterated its sell recommendation on EasyJet and downgraded some other European peers. Commerzbank said it expects demand to slow across the industry. Shares in EasyJet closed down 3.2pc. Ryanair releases first quarter results next Monday.

The UK's FTSE-100 fell 0.29pc, while France's CAC-40 was 0.7pc lower. Germany's DAX declined 1.1pc.

As EayJet fell, shares in engine maker Rolls Royce sank 2.2pc, while defence firm BAE Systems declined 1.7pc.

Irish Independent

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